Disney World Honors Veterans Day & Salutes Veteran Cast Members
Every day we honor and respect all those who have served our country. Disney Parks does the same as they celebrate their own veteran cast members and veterans throughout the world.
At sunrise on Veterans Day, the day began with a special salute. Cast members recognized our nation’s heroes with a special Veterans Day flag-raising ceremony in Magic Kingdom Park. Honor guards from Disney's security team, Orange, Orange County Sheriff’s Office and Reedy Creek Fire Department and a fife and drum marched in procession to Town Square for the hoisting of the flag.
The ceremony was extremely special to Walt Disney World Resort Security Manager Mike Viola, who joined Disney five years ago, following a 31-year career in the U.S. Navy and his wife Leslie, a 20-year Navy veteran and former WDW Security Investigator cast member. The couple said “I do” in 1992 at the resort and have deployed seven times between them in 12 years of service since their vows.
Their love of Disney helped to pass the time and keep their family connected. During time apart, Mike and his family would watch Disney DVDs “together” (at their respective locations) and plan a trip to Disney once each deployment was over to keep every member focused on reuniting together at Walt Disney World once the mission was complete.
Their love of Disney was so great that after retiring, both Mike and Leslie came to work for the company. Mike says, “I work at Disney because of the joy this company has brought to not only my family but tens of thousands of other families who visit every day.”
Earlier this month U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds helped Walt Disney World mark the beginning of National Veterans and Military Families Month with a flyover at Epcot. Take a look at the video below.
Thank you to all of our veterans for your dedication and hard work!
News & Media Source: Disney Parks Blog