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A Veteran’s Day in the Sun

John Jetson throws annual party to give fellow vets the ‘welcome home’ they deserve

Crew Chief Jetson kneels in front of his 0-2A Skymaster in Cam Ranh Bay. He and the pilot flew forward air control missions into “hot areas” in Laos and Cambodia.

Crew Chief Jetson kneels in front of his 0-2A Skymaster in Cam Ranh Bay. He and the pilot flew forward air control missions into “hot areas” in Laos and Cambodia.

John Jetson, local businessman and proud Vietnam War veteran, doesn’t wait for special holidays to honor vets. No matter what day it is, he is quick to recognize the skills and discipline they learn in the military and to acknowledge the debt the nation owes them for protecting our country. And even more important, he hires veterans.

However, each Veterans Day since 2010, Jetson takes an extra step to celebrate this exceptional group of American men and women who served in uniform. He turns the parking lot and showroom of his flagship Jetson TV and Appliance store in Fort Pierce into an annual bash to commemorate and connect local veterans.

Hundreds join the festivities — many still in uniform after they have participated in somber Nov. 11 ceremonies — to eat free hot dogs and listen and dance to music of a live band. This year Chubby Bones will entertain with songs from the ’60s on. The guests also peruse informational tables set up for their benefit by veterans and other groups. 

The event starts at noon and goes to 3 p.m. “People love it,” Jetson says. “A couple years back a World War II vet came through. He was in his 90s, still driving, sharp as a tack, and he was out there doing the Lindy hop in the parking lot. He was still connected, still wanting to reconnect with other vets.