A day for heroes

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By Becca Owsley

By BECCA OWSLEY bowsley@thenewsenterprise.com RADCLIFF — Joining a nationwide celebration of Armed Forces Day, Radcliff will have a packed schedule of events honoring current and former military personnel during Hooray for Heroes on May 16. The best part is it is free to the military, past and present, and their families. Jo Emary, executive director of the Radcliff Chamber of Commerce, said she has been amazed at the amount of support the event has received from sponsors. Even though the economy is bad this year, sponsors are generous in their support of the event and there still are a large number of businesses planning to have booths, she said. “The community has proved again how much we love our soldiers,” Emary said. Beginning at noon free games and inflatables, including slides and bounce houses, will be available for children. A climbing wall, face painting and clowns also will be part of the free events for kids. Local businesses will host booths and static displays of an MI Tank, Bradley Fighting Vehicle and Stryker will be on exhibit. A barbecue lunch will begin at 12:30 p.m. and also is free to the military, veterans and their families. The Wulfe Brothers will entertain the crowd at 12:30 p.m. followed by The Monarchs at 2:30 p.m. A patriotic program will cap off the day's events at 7 p.m. at Stithton Baptist Church. WHAS 11 news personality Gary Roedemeier will emcee the program that also will feature the 100th Army Band. Guest speakers will include Command Sgt. Maj. John Troxell and Patrick Henry Hughes, who was a recipient of an extreme makeover from the hit ABC show. Hughes also will be performing. Fallen heroes, Private 1st Class Sammie Phillips of the Kentucky National Guard and Ky. 86 Fire and Rescue Chief Louis Crosier will be recognized in a special presentation during the evening events. Police, EMS and firefighters also will be recognized as heroes during the event. Will Stolz, Wal-Mart co-manger, stressed that the community needs to recognize those who protect the United States through the military and those who protect our county through the law enforcement and emergency personnel. Stolz was one of the original organizers of the event and wanted to do it because he noticed the community didn’t have an event like this to recognize area heroes. His father and father-in-law served in Korea, and his son is in the National Guard. Stolz knew in his heart something needed to be done to recognize local heroes.   The event is coordinated by the Fort Knox Chapter Association of the United States Army, Radcliff Chamber of Commerce and the Radcliff Wal-Mart with contributions from corporate and individual sponsors.   Organizers estimated 3,500 people attended last year’s event, which was the highest number since it began in 2006. Becca Owsley can be reached at (270) 505-1741.