August 05, 2013

State Fair Military Appreciation Day to Honor Missouri National Guard

On Aug. 11, Gov. Jay Nixon, Director of Agriculture Dr. Jon Hagler and military leaders from across the country are gathering for a special tribute to the men and women of our armed services at the Missouri State Fair in Sedalia. Gov. Nixon will again lead the annual event at 2:00 the afternoon of Sunday, Aug. 11 in the Mathewson Exhibition Center. The 2013 Military Appreciation Day is a ‘Show Me' Salute to All Who Serve with a Special Tribute to the Army & Air National Guard.

"With over half a million veterans in our state, Missourians understand and appreciate the significance of our Military men and women," said Director of Agriculture Dr. Jon Hagler. "We are proud to host Military Appreciation Day as a way to honor and give back to all who have served."

Admission to the fairgrounds Sun., Aug. 11 is free for veterans, active-duty service personnel and delayed-entry recruits with appropriate identification. Their immediate family members can get into the fair for only $1 that day.

This is the fourth year for the annual ceremony, which Gov. Nixon established in 2010. The official ceremony will be held in the air-conditioned Mathewson Exhibition Center and will include recognition of and remarks from Missouri veterans and current military leaders.

Missouri's own four-star general and current Chief of the National Guard Bureau, General Frank Grass, is this year's keynote speaker. The Adjutant General of the Missouri National Guard Major General Stephen Danner, the Commander of Fort Leonard Wood Major General Leslie C. Smith and the Commander of the 509th Bomb Wing at Whiteman Air Force Base Brigadier General Thomas Bussiere will also be part of the celebration.

The Patriot Guard Riders are once again kicking off the event, joined this year by the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association, with more than 100 motorcycles roaring into the Exhibition Center. Long-time mid-Missouri resident Major Mike Roberts of the Missouri National Guard will serve as the master of ceremonies, leading the recognition of veterans and current servicemen and women. In addition, the Fort Leonard Wood Joint Services Color Guard, the 135th Army Band, based in Springfield, Mo., and the Houston High School Choir will perform throughout the ceremony.

The event is free and open to the public. All fair attendees are invited to join in the recognition and celebration of Missouri's service members.

In addition to discounted admission and the official ceremony, the 2013 Military Appreciation Day includes a gathering of military and veterans' organizations in the fairgrounds' Show-Me Tent. Military equipment, including a tank and World War II era vehicles, will also be on display throughout the day.

For more information about the day's festivities, visit