Sunday marked the official commemoration of Veteran's Day, but all weekend long, celebrations took place across the panhandle to honor our veterans and most importantly, to say thank you.
In a small community like Panama City, knowing that you served America is a big deal. So much so, that businesses roll out the red carpet for your arrival.
At the Golden Corral, it almost felt like they were expecting the president. Cops stood by directing traffic, lines spanned the side of the building all while veterans anxiously awaited their turn to be treated like royalty.
"It means they're paying back tribute to the veterans over the years and the community is right behind the veterans." Andre Goss says.
Feeding veterans and active military is a real treat for the company. They do it every Veteran's Day. "This is the time that Golden Corral nation wide, all 488 stores has an opportunity to say thank you for your service and what you do to keep our country free." Marketing Director Mike Stern says.
From the moment you arrived, you were recognized with a sticker, noting your service to America. Thousands showed up, which meant there was some room for some down time to share stories.
"I went to Japan on the first wave, in 1945 and I was ready to come home, so I came home as soon as I could." WWII Veteran Wilborn Vaughen laughed.
"So many different ‘mos', or jobs in the military and it's fun to come and compare those." Vietnam Veteran Ron Fennel says.
While this was a humbling event for our military vets, it was also gratifying for those who aspire to on day, become heroes. "The cadets get to meet the veterans and have an appreciation and better understanding of their stories and learn from them while being inspired." Mosley High School JROTC Instructor Maj. Adam W. Love says.
Here is a list of local companies who offer deals all year round:
To see a list from Veterans Resources click here