Carroll's military personnel who served in the Persian Gulf war willget a hometown thanks with a special program as part of the city's Fourth of July celebration.

A ceremony of gratitude and recognitionfor Desert Storm troops from the area is planned to kick off the annual July 4 All-Day Picnic at the Carroll County Farm Museum.

The "Welcome Home" rally is sponsored by the city government and the farm museum staff, who promise that yellow ribbons and red, whiteand blue bunting won't be in short supply.

Organizers compiled a list of 105 people from the county who served in the gulf war, said Carroll Donovan, the city's activities and recreation supervisor.

Many are active-duty personnel who are stationed at out-of-state installations and likely will not be able to attend.

However the city already has received responses from some troops who said they will be present.

The event is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. at the farm museum with a coffee-and-doughnut reception for the troops and their families.

The formal program begins at 10 a.m., and features a speechby Air Force Lt. Col. Joel Rutledge, a pilot who flew missions during the gulf war.

The keynote address will be given by Maj. Gen. James F. Fretterd, Adjutant General of the Maryland National Guard.

The program also will include comments by municipal, county and state dignitaries, as well as live performances by a gospel group and solo vocalists.

The ceremony will be conducted just outside the farm museum grounds for the convenience of people who wish to attend the ceremony but not the all-day picnic, Donovan said.

Also, because the the program is scheduled two hours before the farm museum grounds areto open for the picnic, there should be plenty of parking for those who want to attend the ceremony only.

When the farm museum groundsopen at noon for the picnic, the troops and their families will be admitted free of charge.

The day's events will be capped by a fireworks display at dusk. The farm museum is located at 500 S. Center St.

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