LAS VEGAS (FOX5) — Eighty wounded veterans were welcomed in grand fashion Friday at the Mirage Convention Center ahead of Veterans Day weekend.
Hundreds of MGM Resorts employees stood shoulder to shoulder holding welcome signs and American flags to form a “Wall of Gratitude.” The veterans were greeted by cheers and shouts of support as they walked down a large hallway with MGM employees lining both sides.
“At first the anxiety is up a lot. But to see the amount of people that actually come out and support veterans. It means a lot. It definitely means a lot,” said Douglas Lewis, who was wounded while serving in the Army National Guard.
Wounded veterans and their families will be treated to a weekend of relaxation, entertainment and dining all paid for by MGM Resorts, American Airlines and the USO.
Employees showed up early in anticipation of the grand arrival, some clocking out to participate in the event and later going back to work.
“Watching all of these men and women from all over the country, with the things that they’ve been through, and seeing their faces, and just imagining some of the horrors that they’ve seen and the experiences that they’ve had is incredibly emotional and uplifting at the same time,” MGM Resorts employee Stacey Hamilton said.
Following the welcoming reception, an opening ceremony and dinner kicked off the weekend’s events.