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'Our Freedoms Were Bought at a Very Dear Price': 15,000 Service Members, Families Honored

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A coalition of more than 20 veteran organizations and local churches held an outreach to honor and give back to our nation's military service members, veterans, and their families over the weekend. 

CityServe International, a non-profit relief organization, along with Voice of the Veteran, and ChurchLV organized "Day of Gratitude" on June 8th in Las Vegas, Nevada giving back to more than 15,000 military members and their families. 

Day of Gratitude (Photo courtesy: CityServe)

"'The Day of Gratitude' was a monumental, historic day at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas as thousands of Veterans, members of the Armed Forces, and their families joined us for this first celebration of its kind," explained Dave Donaldson, co-founder of CityServe. 

"We are committed to being their advocates on this special occasion, and we will absolutely follow through on that promise," he added. 

The event was held two days after the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landing at Normandy and featured musical performances by country singer Walker Hayes and Christian artist Danny Gokey. 

More than $3 million in goods were given to veterans and their families. And a U.S. military bronze medal award ceremony was held to honor service members.

Day of Gratitude (Photo courtesy: CityServe)

Donaldson shared how veterans admitted they were ashamed to tell others of their service in Vietnam. 

He recounted how one officer named Richard shared, "On our flight home from Vietnam we were instructed to change out of our uniforms into civilian clothes because we would not be accepted." 

"I told Richard, 'We cannot change the way you have been treated in the past, but we can change the way you are treated in the future starting today'," Donaldson said. 

CityServe states that part of its mission is to recognize all "service members, veterans, active duty, and their spouses and children" and to help them "realize they are loved, cherished, and appreciated."

"We must never forget our freedoms were bought at a very dear price. That cost was paid in full by our brave heroes in uniform, and that's why we're so excited to honor their sacrifice in defense of our life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness," the organization said. 

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About The Author


Talia Wise has served as a multi-media producer for, CBN Newswatch, The Prayer Link, and CBN News social media outlets. Prior to joining CBN News she worked for Fox Sports Florida producing and reporting. Talia earned a master’s degree in journalism from Regent University and a bachelor's degree from the University of Virginia.