Heroes Week kicks off at Huntsville International Airport with a warm welcome

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - In honor of the upcoming veterans day, heroes week began in the valley Wednesday with groups of wounded warriors arriving at Huntsville International Airport.

The veterans have a jam-packed schedule this week, as we welcome them to north Alabama.

Starting Wednesday with a welcome dinner, they'll be busy all day Thursday and then participating in the veteran's day parade Friday.

Semper Fi Community Task Force board member Kate Hester said this is the tenth year they've honored the veterans this way. It started as just a day and has now evolved into heroes week.

"Huntsville is such a unique community, we really wrap our arms around the veterans here, and when we welcome them everyone comes out," said Hester.

There were more than 78 kids from Randolph School alone, to welcome the wounded warriors. Hester said for many of these vets, this is a first.

"A lot of them didn't receive their welcome home, they were injured on the battlefield, and from there they were medevaced out, and they never got that welcome home with their comrades," she explained.

Hester said they plan to make sure these veterans feel loved and supported this week, saying "We have some special surprises that they don't know yet about during lunch, and then we have a farewell dinner as well that we have a special guest coming in to sing for."

With the Redstone Arsenal here, a lot of people have been impacted by the military. But whether you've been impacted or not, it's still nice to come together in support of those who sacrifice so much for us.

The North Alabama Christian School is just one of the groups that came out to welcome our wounded warriors to Huntsville. This is Titus Thompson's fourth year to support the veterans.

"Ever since I  was a little kid we've always looked up to the military my family and I, and I always wanted to be in the military," said Thompson.

16-year-old Thompson hopes to join the ranks of either the Naval or Air Force Academy. He said he feels that in today's society, young people don't always give the thanks that is deserved.

"I think that this is one opportunity that we can show that we care about the people that help give us our land of freedom and all the wonderful rights that we have."

Holly Smith said she was glad there was such a large showing of support from kids.

"I think it's a great thing for the kids because it makes it real for them and they actually see that there are consequences to serving our country," she said.

She said that in light of the elections and tension in our country, it's a great thing to unite for a patriotic cause.

"We're just trying to teach our kids that it's a very important thing to honor our vets and be aware of what they put on the line for our country," said Smith.

The veterans will also get to enjoy a nice afternoon on Lake Guntersville, courtesy of the Guntersville Yacht Club, where they will also celebrate the Marine Corps birthday.