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HOUSTON At the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Wednesday, they showed their appreciation for sacrifices past and present.

Military Appreciation Day is held each year to honor those who serve our country with free admission, barbecue and more. The troops will be recognized Wednesday night during the rodeo performance.

Among those showing his appreciation was Michael Thornton, a former Navy Seal and recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor for his actions during four tours in Vietnam.

Many of the men and women who proudly wore their uniforms to Reliant Park Wednesday stopped to have their photos taken with Thornton.

That s a medal of honor recipient. In my opinion, one of the greatest contributors to a free nation America, said one soldier.

Thornton tried to turn the attention back to the active-duty members of the military.

I should be saluting you guys. You shouldn t be saluting me, he told them.

These kids, they volunteered. It s not like they were drafted, said Thornton. They volunteered to help keep our country safe and free.

There is one point upon which everyone here agrees.

Freedom is not free. Freedom is written in blood, said Thornton. We should never take that for granted. Every day of our life, we should be saying thank you that we live in the greatest country in the world.

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