Highlights include candlelight tribute walk, MASH meet and greet, Fort Bragg tour and more
As The Army’s Army kicks off its third annual Heroes Homecoming celebration this Friday, November 8, veterans and military supporters will gather from across the nation to pay tribute to our brave men and women in uniform. This year, the four-day celebration will honor veterans of the Korean War, in commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the war’s conclusion and armistice. Three stars of hit television show MASH, Loretta Swit (Margaret “Hotlips” Houlihan), Jamie Farr (Corporal Klinger), and William Christopher (Father Mulcahy), will be in attendance to lead events throughout the Veterans Day weekend.
A physical and digital #Light141 candlelight tribute campaign will begin the celebration. Community members and visitors will team up to illuminate the streets of downtown Fayetteville in a tribute walk, departing from North Carolina Veterans Park at 6pm on November 8. At the conclusion of the tribute, participants will be invited inside the Arts Council building for a free screening of the final MASH episode, the most watched television finale in history. Supporters across the country can virtually participate in the special tribute on Facebook and Twitter by using the hashtag #Light141, and by downloading a custom designed candle profile graphic, available here. A stream of #Light141 posts throughout the evening’s events will be displayed on the Heroes Homecoming website.
Several exciting events also take place Saturday, November 9, including Fayetteville’s annual Veterans Day Parade, followed by a Formal Veterans Ceremony and Family Day Celebration at NC Veterans Park. Families attending the ceremony can stop by the park’s Visitor Center and see its latest exhibit, “North Carolina in the Korean War.” Veterans can obtain VIP seating at the parade by registering in advance at HeroesHomecoming.com.
Sunday’s lineup features two fantastic opportunities to dive deeper into the history and culture of the Korean War. The first, open to veterans who register in advance, is a private bus tour of Fort Bragg and the 82nd Airborne Museum, accompanied by the cast of MASH and narrated by expert local historians. On the tour, veterans will have the opportunity to revisit memorable sites where they trained before their deployment to South Korea, while spending some one-on-one time with “Hotlips,” Corporal Klinger, and Father Mulcahy.
After the tour, the MASH stars will participate in a meet and greet, and live Q&A from 3-5pm at NC Veterans Park. This public event will allow veterans and fans to get up close and personal with the celebrities, posing questions, getting autographs and taking pictures. The event will also be streamed live on the Heroes Homecoming website and digital participants will be able to join the Q&A by submitting their questions on Twitter using the hashtag #AskMASH. Longtime radio broadcaster Mac Edwards will moderate the discussion.
“Heroes Homecoming demonstrates the collaboration of numerous community organizations dedicated to supporting the military,” said Janine West, Executive Director of The Army’s Army. “We are thrilled to have several stars from MASH joining us for this year’s celebration, and can’t wait to bring these once-in-a-lifetime events to our veterans and our community.”
Monday will close out the weekend with a packed slate of Veterans Day activities including a community-wide blood drive, a pancake breakfast prepared by MASH cast members for Community Living Center veterans at the Fayetteville VA Medical Center, and a POW/MIA vigil at the Airborne and Special Operations Museum.
“As the point of departure for thousands of soldiers, the Fort Bragg Communities are the ideal place to honor and recognize the brave veterans who fought to preserve American freedom,” remarked John Meroski, CEO of the Fayetteville Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. “We are proud to be a place of congregation for veterans from across the nation during this important weekend.”
For more information on Heroes Homecoming III, and for a full event itinerary, visit: www.heroeshomecoming.com
About Heroes Homecoming:
Fort Bragg Communities of Cumberland County created Heroes Homecoming as a way of showing recognition and appreciation to all veterans for their courage, their sacrifice and everything they do to defend this country’s freedom – now and forever. Fayetteville has hosted Heroes Homecoming since 2011, helping it to become the largest commemoration and reunion of its kind. From concerts and parades, to lectures and movie viewings, cultural celebrations and recognition ceremonies, all of the events at Heroes Homecoming recognize the service and sacrifice of our brave veterans. For more information, visit www.HeroesHomecoming.com.
About Fayetteville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau:
The Fayetteville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau (FACVB) is a private, not-for-profit organization responsible for positioning Fort Bragg Communities of Cumberland County as a destination for conventions, sporting events and individual travel. For additional information, visit www.visitfayettevillenc.com or call 1-800-255-8217.
About The Army’s Army:
The Army’s Army is a nationally recognized 501(c)(3) non-profit volunteer organization made up of citizens and businesses who have pledged their support to those in the military. We do everything we can to make soldiers, veterans and their families feel welcome, appreciated and safe. The Army’s Army is dedicated to “watching over those who watch over us©.” For additional information, please visit www.armysarmy.com or www.brieffromthefront.com