East Tennesseans lined up to offer a warm welcome to a veteran who is now dedicated to honoring other veterans.
SSgt. Tim Chambers arrived at McGhee Tyson Airport late Friday night.
"(I'm) just overwhelmed," SSgt. Chambers said. "They're going out of their way to honor me and honor
what I do. And they're already doing so much themselves. They're going
above and beyond the call of duty."
SSgt. Chambers is in town to attend Tennessee's Helping Hearts' Annual Remembrance and Service Ball Saturday night.
The organization, which helps military members and their families, will present SSgt. Chambers with an award.
The retired Marine travels across the country to different memorials to salute veterans during events.
He first started the salute back in 2002 at the Vietnam Memorial in
Washington, D.C., for the Rolling Thunder Sunday, where thousands of
veterans rode in from across the country.
At these events, he often stands for seven to eight hours at a time to honor his fellow military members.
"I've seen what he does, and it's, it's amazing. And we want him to know how warm Tennessee can be," said Deb McKay, East Tennessee assistant state captain for the Patriot Guard Riders. "We're going to be escorting him all the way to his hotel room, just like we would any hero. And in our eyes he is a hero."