[ General ]

Branson Welcomes Vets during Annual Veterans Homecoming

Veterans and active-duty military personnel will get the opportunity to see and meet Lt. Col Oliver North this November. North, one of this nation’s most popular veterans, will highlight Branson’s Annual Veterans Homecoming events.

Once again, veterans from all over the United States will travel to Branson to celebrate its 15th annual Veteran’s Homecoming from Nov. 5-11.

North’s appearances will include being the keynote speaker at the U.S. Marine Corps’ 233rd birthday party and an appearance from 8-10 a.m. on Nov. 11, for a breakfast event at a location yet to be determined.

This year, the headquarters and Veterans Village will be at the new Tactical Operations Center at the Branson Convention Center.

This year’s theme is “Branson Doesn’t Forget Our Military and Their Families.”

There may also be a special tribute to former Branson Mayor Lou Schaefer, who recently passed away, according to Veterans Homecoming chairman Steve Weyher.

Since 1993, thousands of veterans have traveled to Branson during this week-long tribute designed to honor service men and women. The homecoming week also means more tourism for Branson. Last year, approximately 2,500 veterans registered, but at least 50,000 veterans came to Branson for the tribute.

“The city of Branson anticipates the homecoming each year,” said Jerry Adams, Branson’s communications director. “We have plenty of lodging facilities in Branson and restaurants to accommodate the influx of veterans and we welcome the opportunity to show our veterans the honor and respect that they deserve.”

A free lunch for veterans and active-duty personnel will be served daily at the tent in the Belk parking lot at Branson Landing.

Registration is also free and will be held at the Grand Country Square and at the Convention Center from 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Veterans who register will be included in daily drawings for special prizes.

“Registration is so important,” said Arlen Lipper, Veterans Task Force office manager and retired U.S. Air Force and Army veteran. “This allows us to know how many are in town and who came. So many are afraid that we will share their personal information, but we really keep that private.”

Lipper expects an increase in the number of veterans who will visit this year and has had a large number of phone calls from people who have never been to Branson and are coming for the first time.

Veterans can look forward to several days of special events such as a World War II encampment, Showboat Branson Belle Show and Dinner, an opening ceremony, a Rose Petal ceremony to honor women veterans, a Gold Star, Blue Star Mothers and Gold Star Wives Luncheon, Korean War Veterans Association reunion, and the United States 233rd Marine Corps birthday party.

All former and active duty veterans are invited, as well the general public.

For more information, call Lipper at The Branson Veterans Task Force office at (417) 337-8387.

Information courtesy of Branson Daily News