Jul 3, 2010 10:41 PM by Matt Stafford

Not too early to start celebrating

Fourth of July celebrations are going on all weekend long, not just the 4th. At Fort Carson, they're starting a little early.

The Mountain Post celebrated the 4th on the 3rd, at Iron Horse Park. They expected 10,000 people to join in the celebration.

"Just really getting a whole real family atmosphere out here, so looking to take advantage of that before heading off for deployment this fall," says Staff Sgt. Thomas Jackson.

Jackson will soon be heading to help finish the job in Iraq, but for now, its family time. That's something he says is very important leading up to a deployment.

On the other side of deployment, the McInnish family is spending time with Uncle Ritchie who just got home from his third tour. They also plan on using the holiday to catch up on some needed family time.

For the soldiers at Iron Horse Park, whether coming or going, this large military family will celebrate Independence Day together. However, they won't be forgetting those who couldn't make it.

A large flag on display will make its way to Afghanistan, but not before being filled with several short messages that make one big point.

"They want our troops to come home safe; God bless, thank you it just goes on and on," says Harry Gates, a volunteer helping to get people to write a message to the troops. He didn't have to work very hard.

The holiday's meaning isn't lost on many in this crowd, understanding where our independence comes from.

"It's just a great day to celebrate what our forefathers and the original Army fellas did before us," Jackson explains, as he smiles with pride for his country.



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