TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Tuesday is Veteran Appreciation Night for the Chiles High School baseball team. A flag pole will be dedicated and Veterans will be recognized. It's a chance to honor those who have served, and to educate those who haven't of their sacrifice.
"Ciff Millender played football, and I played against him. He played football, basketball and baseball at Carabelle High School. He went to Vietnam and he was hit by a land mine and he was killed."
David Wilson told the story of one Big Bend hero who didn't make it home. Wilson is a high school football coaching legend, having led Lincoln to two state titles. He is also a Vietnam Era Veteran of the United States Air Force. Since retiring, coach has spent a lot of time with his grandkids, but he's also made it his mission to make sure Veterans from the Big Bend are never forgotten.
"We'll have Patriot Guard Riders here, and it'll be a very colorful display here," he said pointing to the Chiles baseball field. "We'll have the Honor Guard and then we'll have Veterans here."
A flag pole dedication was already in the plans Tuesday night at Chiles, but they wanted to go bigger.
"We want to make sure that the things and the sacrifices that these gentlemen did are not lost on these kids today," said Kip West, who is Chiles Baseball Booster President.
"He just asked me to contact some veteran groups.," said Wilson. "I'm hoping we have a big turnout, which I think we will."
A turnout to honor those that fought for our freedom.
"You see generations of people who've given service to our country," said West. "I think it's really important for our kids."
Sacrifices that will be recognized forever in center field. The ceremony at Chiles will start at 5:45 Tuesday. They will then face Maclay at 6:00. Admission for Veterans is free.