A town celebration June 15 is shaping up to be a special day of tribute and thanks to several area natives who served in the Persian Gulfwar.

Service members from Taneytown to Damascus, Montgomery County, are scheduled to take part in the town's celebration, which ties in with Flag Day, and is aimed at honoring and thanking the Desert Storm troops.

During a press conference Wednesday afternoon, Mayor Gerald R. Johnson Jr. outlined plans for the day-long event, intended to honor not only veterans from the gulf war, but military personnel who have served in all wars.

"This is a celebration brought about by the Desert Storm operation, but I think it's in our best interest to do it for everyone," the mayor said.

The town contacted about 80 service members who participated in the gulf war and who have ties to the area. Sixteen responded, including 10 who said they wish to take part in the day's events.

According to the agenda outlined by the mayor, the celebration will begin with a welcome reception, featuring coffee and doughnuts, for the troops and their guests beginning at 9 a.m. atthe town's VFW Post.

At 10 a.m., a parade will begin at the MountAiry Elementary School and conclude at the carnival grounds off Route 27.

Troops who are being honored will be featured in the parade,aswill veterans from other wars. Among the 27 other entries in the parade are marching bands from South Carroll High and Linganore High in Frederick County, the William F. Myers and Sons Inc. Band, and a host of veterans groups.

When the parade concludes at the carnival grounds, a Flag Day ceremony is scheduled and will included remarks from dignitaries and some of the gulf troops.

The ceremony also willfeature a "Living Flag," made up of elementary school children.

After the ceremony, the troops and their families will be lunch guestsat the American Legion.

In the evening, the troops and their guests will be given free tickets for rides and refreshments at the Lion's Club carnival. The carnival opens to service members at 5 p.m., an hour earlier than normal. The carnival runs June 10-15.

"I really feel that it's going to be a very memorable event, especially for thetroops, not only the Desert Storm troops, but for everyone," the mayor said.

Town officials ask that any Desert Storm troops who may not have been contacted and who want to take part in the day's events call the Town Hall at 795-6012.

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