Veteran hopeful different branches, different generations come together to honor sacrifices

Published: Nov. 9, 2021 at 4:48 PM EST
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BULLOCH COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - A veteran who now makes his home in Bulloch County hopes to bring together veterans from different branches, but also different generations.

When Bulloch County’s veterans gather once again for Veterans’ Day at the Emma Kelly Theater, none will be happier than Lonnie Ellis.

The local American Legion Post Commander says the in-person program will feel better than the virtual ceremony last year.

“We, as veterans, love to honor those who served with us and those who often paid a heavier price than we paid,” Ellis said.

He understands the honor of service. He served in the Marines and Army in different decades, but deployed to fight for both. He joined the American Legion years before he moved to Statesboro.

Despite the grey in Lonnie’s beard, he’s one of the “young whipper-snappers” here at the American Legion. But he’s on a mission to bring veterans his age and younger into the fold.

He says the American Legion values the veterans from World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. But it also wants the younger generations of veterans to join - for the camaraderie, but also to carry on the voice for those who’ve served.

“It’s a struggle and we’re fighting it daily and our numbers are dwindling. The thing that I try to stress to the young men and women who are veterans is “we need you!” Ellis said.

He hopes the ceremony this week helps bring together veterans from all generations.

Statesboro’s Veterans Day program begins with live music at 10:30 a.m. Thursday at the Emma Kelly Theater downtown.

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