HOBART, Wis. (NBC 26) — It was a ceremony that reminds Green Bay area native Jerry Tilot of the relationships he made while serving overseas.
"[I remember] a special friend that I made over in Korea," he said. "I worked with Kim Bong Song [who was] South Korean... one of the best friends I ever made in my life."
The Emerald Bay Retirement Community in Hobart honored 22 of its residents who served in the U.S. military. Twenty Pulaski area veterans helped recognize the vets.— Ben Bokun (@ben_bokun) November 11, 2021
The ceremony included the presenting of the color guard, a 21-gun salute and Taps. pic.twitter.com/qIkiNpWbIE
On Veterans Day, the Emerald Bay Retirement Community in Hobart honored Tilot and all 22 of its residents who served in the US military.
"It's a good reminder that there's a lot of people that gave up part of their life to be a veteran," Tilot said.
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"We had the presenting of all the colors," Emerald Bay Community Relations Director Allie Bloom said. "We were able to do a little introduction [and give] a pin and gift certificates and flags to every single one of our veterans in attendance."
Twenty Pulaski area veterans were there to help recognize their fellow companions.
"[My favorite part was] during the Taps and such, how emotional everybody gets," Bloom said. "Being able to see the emotion on everybody's faces."
Tom Kelley performed for the residents with his Green Bay singing group.
"We have one veteran in our group, Jim," Kelley said. "He's from the Army. And Veterans Day means a ton to all of us… a group. ... We know what it is for veterans to be in harms way as my son was, so it's just a fantastic time."
"Those that gave their life for this country deserve more of the accolades than a living veteran does," Tilot said.
It's been almost 70 years since he served, but Tilot says it feels like just yesterday.
"You're proud that you were part of it, that you helped support the effort to defend this country," he said.