Sedgwick County Zoo honors veterans, active military personnel and their families with free admission

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WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — The Sedgwick County Zoo honored veterans today by allowing veterans, active military personnel, their families and the families of deployed military personnel complimentary zoo admission.

“We salute members of our nation’s military, both active duty and veterans, for their dedication and service. To show our appreciation, we’re offering complimentary Zoo admission to all military personnel and their immediate families.” said the Sedgwick County Zoo on their website.

Veterans who took advantage of the free entrance to the zoo shared what it means to be a veteran and why Veterans Day is important to them.

“It (being a veteran) means that I served my country, that I’m still really serving my country, and that I was willing to sacrifice what was necessary to defend freedom,” said Terry Rudkin, a Vietnam veteran.

“It (being a veteran) means that — I feel great about serving my country and everything I did with it,” said Robert Gillett, a Vietnam veteran. “We didn’t get thanked when we came home, so I take advantage of it (Veterans Day) now.”

Many businesses honored veterans today, from offering free meals, haircuts and retail discounts to donating a portion of sales to nonprofits that help veterans.

According to the Housing Assistance Council, there are 176,444 veterans that live in Kansas. Of those, 36.1% fought in the Vietnam War.

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