VETERANS KICKOFF

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JEFFERSON CITY - Lieutenant Governor Mike Parson hosted the inaugural Veterans Week Kickoff at the Missouri State Capitol. 

Parson wanted to have an official lead in to all the events that will take place across the state before Veteran's Day on Nov. 11. 

Active and retired veterans were at the ceremony. 

“It kind of hits me in the heart on being able to thank retired veterans and to also appreciate the people that thank me,” said Staff Sergeant Corey Innis. “This time of year it seems like the number of thank you’s goes up. I can’t thank them enough for their appreciation because I feel like some people don’t appreciate veterans as much as they would or should.” 

Innis has served with the Missouri Army National Guard for 12 years and is currently a recruiter for them. 

The event centered around honoring veterans and reflecting on what Veteran's Day means to veterans. 

“Even if it is just something small and little that you would think isn’t much, it is just a thank you, it is just a small token, it means so much to us,” said Sergeant First Class Roger Moss. “It can make our whole day. It can make our whole week.”

Moss toured in Iraq in 2003 for two years. 

Parson accepted a Gold Star Memorial which is the first memorial of its kind at a state capitol in the U.S. 

State Senator and retired U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Wayne Wallingford spoke at the ceremony and talked about what veterans expect during Veteran’s Day. 

“Veterans just like to be appreciated like most people," said Wallingford. "They don't expect some elaborate ceremony or recognition they just want to be thanked and appreciated for what they do."

Wallingford hopes this kickoff can become an annual event in Missouri. 

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