Veterans Day in the Tennessee Valley

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Medal of Honor recipient Gary Michael Rose visited The Baylor School to speak to students about the sacrifices that veterans have made for our country.

There were Veterans Day Events all across the Chattanooga area on Monday and throughout the weekend.

Events in Chattanooga, Collegedale, Soddy-Daisy and all across our area.

On Friday, Medal of Honor recipient Gary Michael Rose visited The Baylor School.

He says when he talks to school groups he talks about what veterans have done for our country.

"Imagine yourself. This is June 6, 1944 you're 18 years old. You've got a rifle on your back. You got ammunition grenades, maybe a days worth of food and water and you're climbing down a rope ladder," Mr. Rose said. "You're getting in a Higgins Boat and you're heading for a beach and you're about to oppose an army that's been at war for six years, hardened combat troops, the Germans, and you're gonna land on a hostile beach."

He told that to the students at Baylor just before Veterans Day. He told students to look around. He said if they would have been there on D-Day many wouldn't make it home and the others will still be on that beach 75 years later. Combat veterans tell us all of the time they return to the war every day in their minds.

"All these people all these years have gone off to war, defended this country, defended our beloved constitution, and yet they come home from that horror and they built your schools. They built your roads. They put in your electrical grids, your sewage systems, and they try to make each one of the communities better."

Gary Michael Rose was awarded the Medal of Honor in 2017 for his actions in the Vietnam war 47 years earlier.

He told us what receiving the Medal of Honor means to him.

"I think that I'm over recognized for what I did because if I had not done what I did I would have failed myself, the guys I was with, the Army, my unit and I consider myself a custodian of this award," Mr. Rose said. "It doesn't belong to me because if you looked at the unit I was with in that involvement. We could have drawn straws and anyone of those guys could have received this."

Captain Gary Michael Rose has an incredible story to tell.

We told many stories about people in our area helping veterans. From local restaurants and church groups feeding and delivering food to veterans to the work being done at the Medal of Honor Heritage Center to get ready for the grand opening in February 2020.

Lots of veterans are aging, and struggle with health issues.

While many couldn't make it out to events like these, Polly Claire's in Chattanooga was doing something about that.

Rashelle Stafford opened Polly Claire's about three years ago. She says their specialty is afternoon tea.

"So our afternoon tea is four courses," says Stafford, "It is over the top. It' s a lovely, authentic, traditional British experience. However, we do four courses and we can make it in nine minutes fresh to order."

But this morning, the staff at Polly Claire's was working on something different, something special on Veterans Day - preparing meals to be delivered to veterans.

"They're getting all kinds of good things," says Stafford, "They're getting chocolate chip mini scones, which we don't offer to the pubic so that's kind of a specialty item. We're also doing quiche, and the caviar of the south - we have chicken salad for them."

Four different Chattanooga restaurants are involved in this project. They're feeding 55 veterans. The food is delivered, and all this was organized by the people behind Chattanooga

Rashelle wanted to be a part of this for many reasons. One is because the building they're located in dates back to the Civil War, but it's more than that.

"We have a lot of military people who come in, and we do give a discount, but we also have military in our family. So Veterans Day is just kinda near and dear to our hearts and this house."