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Goldsboro Parade Honors Troops Who Fought In Operation Iraqi Freedom

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GOLDSBORO, N.C. — Residents of Wayne County honored theirlocal Air Force installation Friday with a parade that includedhundreds of airmen from Seymour Johnson Air Force Base.

Flags, banners, balloons, and a sea of red, white and blue filled both sides of Berkeley Boulevard during the parade that was sponsored by Goldsboro and Wayne County. The parade kicked off a day of local events honoring the base.

"I think it's great the community is so involved and supportiveof us," said Lori Cram.

Her husband, Tech. Sgt. Timothy Cram, is an avionics technicianon the F-15E Strike Eagle jet fighters at Seymour Johnson. He maybe deployed in November.

The parade started at Berkeley Mall and ended at the base gate.

More than 1,000 airmen, including 4th Fighter Wing commanderBrig. Gen. Rick Rosborg, marched in the parade as did the GoldsboroHigh School band and police.

"This is outstanding. It's well-deserved recognition for our military, their families and the whole town," said Manfred Schmidt, a retired chief master sergeant who works at the 4th Medical Group clinic on base.

"They need this in case they have to go back. It is a great morale booster for everybody," Schmidt said.Marsha Newsome, who served in the North Carolina National Guard for six years, waved her American flag while her son, Jeffrey, 9, watched the airmen march by.

"I wanted to give my son a chance to see and support theairmen," she said.