HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Armed Forces Appreciation Day at RodeoHouston gave a special group of World War II veterans more than just a chance to enjoy the grounds.
On Wednesday, the rodeo welcomed armed forces with free tickets and food.
"We've been here for a few years now," U.S. Coast Guard member Patrick Moran explained. "We love it so much more my wife became a Rodeo member. We've embraced the whole rodeo culture. I'm originally from New York, so if you had told me I would be coming to rodeos regularly, I would've thought it would have been funny."
The day wasn't only for active military members. The rodeo also hosted a group of World War II veterans.
"A lot of experience," World War II veteran Ted Kirkpatrick explained. "A lot of stories. If you want to spend the next day here, we can do that."
"We're not the heroes, we're survivors," World War II veteran, Vincent Moreno said. "The heroes are the ones who were left behind."
The Rodeo Armed Forces Appreciation Committee and Honor Guard Houston brought the group of veterans ranging in age from 93 to 102.
"I'm starting over," World War II veteran, John McCain joked. "The first hundred was easy, man. It's the second hundred I'm worried about."
A group that might be shrinking each rodeo season, but still lacks the stories, humor, and encouragement for America's youth.
"All this young generation, I tell them, 'When you grow up to be old enough to be in the service, Go,'" said David De La Cruz.