Lynchburg, VA - One Lynchburg church celebrated Veterans Day in a very big way. Court Street United Methodist Church honored five purple heart recipients who have local ties, during their 11 o'clock service.
Sunday morning served as a reminder, that freedom isn't free. Countless men and women have paid the ultimate price for our country, and that was the case for Staff Sergeant Greg Copes, whose memory was honored Sunday morning.
Inside Court Street United Methodist Church, the congregation honored four men wounded in the line of duty, and honored one who never made it home.
"The outpouring of love and support from the community is tremendous and really helps make it through the hard times," said Earl Copes, oldest brother of Staff Sgt. Copes.
Sunday was his first Veterans Day he's faced since losing his brother.
"Freedom isn't free, men and women have paid a tremendous price for us to enjoy the freedom that we enjoy every day," said Copes.
The service started by honoring everyone in the congregation who served their country.
Afterwards, the five wounded warriors and their families were recognized, one of which was Sgt. Jonathon Roberts.
"Deployed to Iraq twice, first deployment I went 15 months without a scratch, second deployment I was there two months and got hit with a road side bomb,"said Sgt. Roberts.
The explosion left Sgt. Roberts with Traumatic Brain Injury, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and an 80% loss of hearing in his right ear. Although Sgt. Roberts has the scars to prove his love of country, he says honoring those who paid the ultimate sacrifice will never be forgotten.
"It's unlike any event I have ever been a part of, it was special," said Roberts.
The church also wanted to give a small gift to the families, so over the past several weeks, the congregation has been raising money for the Wounded Warriors Project.
They set a goal of $1,000, however when all the money finished coming in, they had raised more $5,000.