Posted: Friday, July 04, 2014

WASHINGTON COUNTY -- Whether you choose to celebrate with a picnic in unfamiliar territory like several UT Austin fans – or take a tour of Independence Hall – there is no shortage of activities for today's Independence Day celebration.
But, for the men and women of the Texas State Guard – they enjoyed celebrating America's birthday all suited up and eager to keep you safe.

“The sense of pride of just being here and being able to serve other fellow Texans within the guard and outside the guard has always been a great thing for me,” said Texas State Guard soldier, Thomas Coleman.

"The Texas State Guard is about Texans serving Texans. We are here to volunteer our time to be able to perform a defense support and civil authorities mission at this commission,” said Texas State Guard soldier, Sgt. Jeff Gore.

Back at the command center – they prepare for today's patriotic mission at Washington on the Brazos Park by first briefing the soldiers before sending them to their assignments.

And it's safe to say – Park Director, Catherine Nolte appreciates their hard work.

"Those folks are absolutely crucial to the success and the pleasure that our visitors can have here,” Nolte said.

While their main mission is to assist during a state emergency, one of their duties this afternoon is just to make sure everyone gets in and out safely and enjoy the holiday without any issues.

As visitors listen in on the tour and others carve wood for the first time, guard members grab their gear and stand their post – all while remembering their own favorite holiday moments.

“I guess it's always been the fireworks – coming out and seeing them and participating in the fireworks,” Coleman added.

If you're in the Washington County area – festivities will last until 9 p.m.