Keeneland recognizes military guests Sunday

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Races continued at Keeneland over the weekend, but Sunday it was all about the men and women who serve this country.

Military Day at the Races is a chance to honor veterans like Jimmy Mowery from Georgetown.

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“I was in the Air Force and I was stationed in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina of all places,” said Mowery.

The day also recognizes active duty service members and reservists.

“We’re active duty. We’re actually with the Illinois National Guard, we’re with the surf team. So we’re out here at Bluegrass station and our work brought us out here for two weeks,” said U.S. Army Specialist Carlos Pasillas.

“It happened to be Military Appreciation Day and we’re having a great time,” added U.S. Army Specialist Skye McEstes.

And the tribute extended to military family members as well.

U.S. Army National Guard Staff Sergeant Clint Hanafin says he brought his family for a mini vacation.

“I happen to be out here at a school for two weeks. It just happened to be a great day, it’s beautiful, it’s sunny and it’s my daughter Keely’s 8th birthday today,” said Hanafin.

Military guests received free admission, a hot lunch, special discounts at The Keeneland Shop, among other deals.

It’s something attendees say they truly appreciate.

“Oh this is absolutely awesome, especialy for the soldiers. We’re just blessed. We thank everyone who put this on,” said Hanafin.

Mowery added, “We appreciate the fact that they do honor the veterans and they don’t forget about us. And we thank them very much for that.”

“Oh, I think it’s wonderful. The appreciation, so far, we’ve been treated very well. Beautiful day it turned out to be, no lines today and we get a nice, free lunch out of today,” added Pasillas.

Keeneland also made a donation to the Friends of Lexington Fisher House. Read more HERE.

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Erica joins the ABC 36 family as a Co-Anchor of Good Morning Kentucky weekday mornings from 5am-7am with Cody Adams and Good Day Kentucky weekday mornings from 9am to 10am. Erica also anchors News at Midday from 12-12:30pm. She is also a Web and Social Media Content Producer. Erica graduated in three and a half years from Michigan State University with a Bachelor's degree in Broadcast Journalism and specialization in Women, Gender and Social Justice. Although she hails from Michigan, Erica has worked as a News Reporter/Sports Anchor for the CBS-affiliate in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. Prior to that, she worked for a PBS-affiliate there covering all types of news – even providing live reports for The Weather Channel during her first hurricane. She then moved to Lake Charles, Louisiana and worked as the Weekend Anchor/Reporter at KPLC, the NBC/FOX/CW affiliate. Erica comes to Lexington from the Huntington area where she worked at WSAZ, an NBC/CW affiliate in West Virginia, as a weekday evening anchor covering the tri states of Ohio and Kentucky as well. In addition to her background on TV, Erica has worked in radio, served as the PA announcer for the Class A "Lansing Lugnuts" and hosted Carnival parades in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Some of her favorite hobbies include running, reading, hiking, spending time with her husband and taking pictures of their furbabies. Erica is big on community involvement, having served as a board member for Dress for Success, volunteered as a Big with Big Brothers Big Sisters, worked on the Mayor's Armed Forces Commission in Lake Charles and hosted countless events. She hopes you can connect with her on Facebook: EricaBivensTV and on Twitter: @ericabivens or Instagram: erica.bivens. You can also email her at ebivens@wtvq.com. Please send all event inquiries via email. Erica is excited to explore Lexington and the outdoors and - of course - meet all of you!