TYLER, Texas (KETK) – East Texans came out to support local veterans during the second annual Rose City AirFest on Friday. Organizers prepared all week for the event to take off.

Travis Gladhill is the Executive Director of CampV.

“It’s a great family event to come out and enjoy; see a lot of the military aircraft from past and present and just pay tribute to our nation,” he said.

It was all in celebration of America and East Texas veterans.

Major General Paul Landers flew on 389 missions in the Vietnam War as the forward air controller. He’s flying the same type of aircraft at the Airfest: the Bird Dog.

“It was used for surveillance. It was used for marking targets on the ground for all the bombers and all the fighter jets up high. It was also used to mark areas on the ground to where all the artillery up high would fire down on the ground over the enemy and bring out the good people,” said Kevin Miller, a pilot.

East Texans met war veterans and watched the flight crews ahead of the holiday weekend.

“I think this kind of an air show is important. It’s a patriotic event for one thing, which we need right now. And, it’s also a way to remind people that military aviation played an important part in the development of the country,” said Landers.

The 2022 Rose City AirFest was held at the Historic Aviation Memorial Museum in the Tyler Pounds Regional Airport.

“We’ve got everything from static display aircrafts that they can walk right up to see up close and personal,” said Gladhill. “Some they’ll actually be able to climb inside (of and) lots of vendors, lots of information, as well as food and fun and games and everything.”

Event organizers said there was high-flying fun, people explored vintage warplanes, and all while benefiting a good cause.

“All the proceeds go to CampV to pay for programs such as the service dog training program,” said Gladhill. “Everything from a rally point all of our different programs that we offer our East Texas Veterans.”

They were honoring East Texas veterans one flight at a time.

To donate to CampV, click here.