Branson, Missouri’s support and love of those who’ve defended America will be on full display for Veterans Week. The patriotic city has long gone all out to show veterans how much they appreciate service to this country. This year, they are stepping it up in an even bigger way.
Beginning on Nov. 5, visitors will be treated to a concert to kick off the week’s festivities. Becky Jewsbury, who moved to Branson from Oklahoma nearly 20 years ago, is the president of the Branson Veterans Task Force. She says she loves everything about this week.
“I enjoy helping people make memories that last, and I have a heart for helping military reunion groups to reconnect,” she said. “From this passion, I started volunteering with the Branson Veterans Task Force, eventually joining the board. I enjoy helping veterans connect with their brothers/sisters in the military and strive to assist in events that allow our community to honor those that have served.”
She added that one of the top highlights is the Vietnam War veterans’ reunion. Facilitators have created a space for sharing stories, camaraderie, and entertainment. Knowing that a lot of focus has been placed on 9/11 veterans, Branson’s officials wanted to ensure veterans of all eras feel equal love.
“I have never served in the military and feel that we owe those that have everything we have,” she explained. “I love this week because it gives me an opportunity to thank and honor them while instilling in our younger generation the importance of patriotism.”
Branson will host a luncheon on Nov. 7 for the military spouses who hold down the home front while troops are away — with Jewsbury calling them the unsung heroes of American defense.
“Branson’s three pillars are faith, family and flag. We honor veterans daily but really roll out the red carpet during Veterans Week,” Jewsbury said. “It is important to our community to not only honor those that have served but also our hometown heroes who supported the troops from the home front.”
Completing the weeklong celebration is the 27th Military Gala and Banquet that will feature a dinner and a celebratory Marine Corps birthday cake cutting, per tradition. There will be music by a DJ and dancing, and the night will be capped off with a patriotic firework display.
“The highlights for me are Veterans Village, which is composed of a mess hall where our veterans receive a free lunch daily; the vendor village, where you can pick up a book or buy handmade goods; and the day room, which is the crowd favorite. The day room is a large hospitality room offering snacks, camaraderie, and a chance to play or listen to the band of the hour.”
On Nov. 11, all participants will be treated to a Veterans Day parade to complete the weeklong honoring of our nation’s heroes.