by Anayeli Ruiz
Veterans Day is long gone but on Thursday Midlanders got another chance to thank a group of special heroes that fought for our country. The annual Hunt for Heroes took place in the Midland County Horsehoe.
This group of men have risked their lives for our county and many of them just got back from combat and for some it's their first time out of the hospital.
What a way to welcome these heroes home and thank them then with special recognition and a celebration in honor of these men. A great parade, celebrations and thank you's are all part of the Hunt for Heroes' celebration where heroes from all parts of the United States will be honored.
"Our purpose is to say thanks, welcome home and thanks for a job well done," Terry Johnson, Founder of the Hunt for Heroes, said.
This year, two local heroes were also honored.
"If anybody from this area who is overseas is injured, we want to make sure they are in our program this year. We had two guys from here locally," Johnson said.
"It's a blessing to come home and see such great support," John Rosales said.
Rosales is a Marine from Midland, he served 33 months and has found his way back home.
But to his surprise he was selected to be honored this weekend and join the Hunt for Heroes celebration.
"I had my share of thank you's and I get the occasional drink at a bar, but for them to come this far and thank us, it's truly amazing," Rosales said.
Rosales was injured several times by roadside bombs and raids while overseas, because of his injuries, it will be a while before he can go back.
"Down the road if my health gets better and I'm able to go back in to the reserve then I will," Rosales said.
But despite his health difficulties and everything he's been through, Rosales doesn't regret his service and doesn't consider himself a hero.
"I wouldn't necessarily call me a hero, it's very nice to be appreciated like this, it's kind of overwhelming. Being in the Marine Corp., everyone is doing their job, it's nothing special and to come here to be praised for it is amazing," Rosales said.
Rosales knows that everyone's hard work and effort to make Hunt for Heroes so special will remain in his memory for years to come.
"Today will be a day that way down the road, I'll look back and say 'Wow I did my job and these people appreciate what I did for them or in their place,'" Rosales said.