Military members honored at Keeneland

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) -- It was a sunny one for a day at the races, and today a special group of people were honored at Keeneland.

Thousands of current and former military members poured into Keeneland with their families in-tow. All for military appreciation Day.

"I love it," said Odus Davis a retired Marine. "It's great."

Odus Davis served in the marines back in the fifties. He says while he felt appreciated then. He feels he and other military members are more appreciated now, and combining a day at the races with fellowship puts two of his favorite things together.

"I think it's very good for morale. And people should come out for a good time," said Davis.

Cheyenne Jennings, Army National Guard says, "It's an honor to be here. I'm a member of the Army National Guard myself."

Cheyenne Jennings was actually a part of the festivities. Singing for those who'd come out for a day at Keeneland. Beyond the music and free lunch, she says organizers have done an amazing job with activities for people of all ages on the North Terrace.

"It's very welcoming to military families. They have tons of crafts for kids to do," said Jennings.

"It's a day to salute the service men and women we've got right here in our community, said Kara Heissenbuttel.

Heissenbuttel is among the team at Keeneland who helped organize the 9-th annual event, and says she's loved getting to expand it each year.

"We invited Gold Star Wives this year. They are ones who've lost their husbands who died in service. We honored them with a luncheon," said Heissenbuttel.

And no matter who they are or their rank... a good time was had by all.

"When companies like Keeneland go above and beyond, it's really, really special," said Major General Ed Tonini.

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