Words & Photos: Freedom Fest at Joint Base Lewis-McChord

By J.M. Simpson on July 5, 2014

What a delight!

Perfect weather - and it can't get any better than it was yesterday - combined with the tradition of delighting and entertaining families from the local area greeted the general public during Joint Base Lewis-McChord's annual Freedom Fest.

Held at Cowan and Memorial Stadiums, the festival featured live entertainment, aerial demonstrations, military displays, carnival rides, a fantastic classic car show, food, and games.

On this day, the nation's 238th birthday, the attitude among many attending Freedom Fest is decidedly patriotic.

"I am very proud to be an American," said Vietnam veteran Jerry Murphy as he stood next to his immaculately restored 1970 Ford Mustang.

Murphy's car underscored his patriotism.

Inside the car were visible the multiple Purple Hearts he had earned while serving in Vietnam.  In the truck were Silver and Bronze Stars neatly arrayed next to his flight suit.

"I served in the infantry and aviation," he told me.  And I value our freedom to be able to live our lives as we see fit."

>>> Vietnam veteran Jerry Murphy's 1970 Ford Mustang was one of the many classic cars on display. Photo credit: J.M. Simpson

>>> Classic Cars:  Thousands of individuals turned out in ideal weather conditions to enjoy Joint Base Lewis-McChord's Freedom Fest activities. Photo credit: J.M. Simpson

Joan Greenwood clearly understood the value of freedom today represents.

"My dad served in the Navy and died for this country.  My brother served and died for this country.  My husband is a Marine, and I am proud to be a part of this country," she said.

>>> Staff Sgt. Jeremiah Walker, 110th Chemical Battalion, holds the American flag during Freedom Fest activities at JBLM July 4. Photo credit: J.M. Simpson

>>> Abigail Hart enjoyed Freedom Fest by receiving an air brushed red dragon. Photo credit: J.M. Simpson