Marines, veterans, escorted to Clemson for 'Honoring Their Servi - FOX Carolina 21

Marines, veterans, escorted to Clemson for 'Honoring Their Service' event

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Marines, veterans honored at Clemson (FOX Carolina/ June 22, 2017) Marines, veterans honored at Clemson (FOX Carolina/ June 22, 2017)
CLEMSON, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Marines and veterans received an honorary escort into Clemson Thursday morning.

"I've been deployed quite a few times," 1st Sgt. Hector Fernandez said. "It's something special. It's not something that Marines get to experience a lot."

Some Marines are from the Upstate and others are from Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.  Fernandez served as a squad leader on the battlefield in Iraq and Afghanistan, but not everyone comes home. 

"It hits you. It hits you hard. Just because you know one day you're right there with them and the next day, you're not," Fernandez said.

Now, he also works with Wounded Warriors, an organization that provides services to those who served.

The group made a stop in Clemson and took a walk through Clemson University's Memorial Park. There, the saw the names of alumni servicemen on the Scroll of Honor. 

"That's close and near and dear to my heart," Fernandez said.

Marines went to Clemson for the 'Honoring Their Service activities,' which are being held throughout the Upstate. It's a time where veterans and Marines are treated to relaxation and recreation. Those in the group got to rub the rock, run down the hill of Memorial Stadium and they saw their names on the big screen. 

"Just an unbelievable show of patriotism and hospitality, love kindness, generosity," Fernandez said.

Staff Sgt. Derrick Popham works with Upstate Warrior Solution. 

"We help veterans and provide services for them," Popham said.

The Scroll of Honor touched him. 

"What those 419 people have sacrificed for this country and our nation and it just makes me proud to be a part of that heritage," said Popham.

After a tour of the locker room and stadium, and some picture-perfect moments, Marines say they're grateful for the thanks they received on Clemson's campus.

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