by Carol Dunn
WALSENBURG- The Troops Rally and BBQ held at the Huerfano County Community Center on July 4 drew a crowd as diverse as Huerfano County itself. Over 300 people gathered to honor and thank military personnel, including dozens of veterans who were on-hand representing five wars or military conflicts.
“Freedom is not free,” speaker Major General (Ret) Jerry White told the crowd. White recounted several examples of military personnel risking their lives to rescue stranded comrades under fire, including Ed Freeman. Freeman received the Medal of Honor in 2001, 35 years after he flew 21 helicopter rescue flights under fire in one day in Vietnam. “One person giving their life for others is American . . . an example set by Jesus,” White told the audience.
In the musical portion of the program, George Tomsco, of Fireballs fame, led an energetic group of musicians in patriotic and inspirational songs, accompanied by opera singer and pianist Nicole Philibosian.
The event was sponsored by the Huerfano Community Bible Church, 603 Leon St. in Walsenburg.