Collier fire department honors veteran on Christmas

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A Vietnam veteran received a special Christmas surprise Monday in Collier County.

The North Collier Fire and Rescue District and other members of the veteran community honored Ray Addison with a certificate of gratitude for his service.

“I don’t believe there are words strong enough to tell them how I feel right now,” Addison said. “I mean, it’s such a great honor to have people think that much about you and care that much about you to come out on Christmas morning.”

Addison is a member of Rolling Thunder, a group that helps the family of soldiers killed or missing in action.

Every year, the fire department selects a soldier to surprise and presents them with an American flag once woven over Freedom Memorial.

“An honor to me because my dad … I do this really because of that. He is a World War II vet and he won the purple heart, which he kept quiet for 60 years,” said Barry Liebowitz with the North Collier Fire.

Liebowitz says it’s a tradition that will keep on living.

“God bless the veterans and our troops and God bless America and lets not forget them,” Liebowitz said.

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