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Military members get free state fair tickets

SEYMOUR JOHNSON AIR FORCE BASE, N.C. -- Free tickets to the North Carolina State Fair!

That's right, all military and dependent ID card holders get free admission to the state fair Wednesday.

The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is designating Wednesday as military appreciation day for the fair in Raleigh.

"Military units across the country have had an increased footprint abroad as well as here at home since 9/11," said Mr. Steven Troxler, commissioner of the NCDACS. "Many servicemembers deployed from our state include active duty, Reservists and National Guardsmen. These men and women are making personal sacrifices such as leaving family, friends and civilian employment to ensure the freedoms we hold so dear remain safeguarded. We want to show our appreciation and let them know their dedication is not going unnoticed."

In addition to free tickets for military identification card holders and four of their guests, the fair will highlight many military displays, exhibits and entertainment from Seymour Johnson Air Force Base and USAF.

Fourth Mission Group Commander, Col. Russell Walden, will welcome our Airmen and their families on the grandstand at 4 p.m.

"Acknowledging our Airmen and their families for what they do everyday to defend our country means a great deal to the 4th Fighter Wing," Col. Walden said. "Taking care of them and ensuring their morale is high is always our number one priority."

Following the welcome, the 4th FW will inaugurate military appreciation day and celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the USAF by echoing the sound of freedom in the sky with F-15E Strike Eagles from the 333rd Fighter Squadron.

"This is the first time the N.C. State Fair will have a flyover as part of the featured activities," said Mr. Worley Smith, state fair public information officer. "We're very excited about this opportunity and feel sure everyone in attendance will be in awe."

The sounds will continue to fill the air as the USAF Heritage Band of America, the Blue Aces, take the grandstand providing a musical variety of country, pop and patriotic music for everyone.

The fair is one of the largest events each year bringing more than 100,000 visitors to the area. Fair organizers hope that military appreciation day will increase visibility to the Air Forces and all other branches of service, according to Mr. Worley.

For more information about military appreciation day, contact the state fair public information office at 733-4216 or visit www.ncstatefair.org.
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