For the past nine years, Milton veteran Tommy Thurman and his wife Linda have been decorating their yard on Alabama Street as a salute to the troops.
"This is something I can show for all the veterans," Thurman said of his elaborate display of American red, white and blue. "I do it strictly for them."
This year proved to be no different, as the 71-year-old and his wife spent hours in the summer sun planting American flags and hanging patriotic memorabilia. The veteran estimates there's anywhere between $800 and $1,500 invested in the exhibit. A few local stores have supported the efforts.
"I do it for the veterans," Thurman said. "I don't do it for myself."
Thurman said he is dedicating the exhibit this year to Army Staff Sgt. Jesse Thomas who died in Afghanistan June 10. Thomas was killed in the line of duty, serving in the Helmand Province. Thomas was originally from Pensacola, assigned to the 39th Transportation Battalion, 16th Sustainment Command, Kleber Kaserne, Germany.
Thurman said he would also like for the public to remember the 19 firefighters that died in Ariz. wildfires last week.
Last year, a flag he flew in his yard was ripped from a flagpole and torn apart in a bout of vandalism. He suspects it was related to a vandalism wave that targeted American flags in Milton and cemeteries.
The incident did not deter him from celebrating the veterans and saluting the country. Thurman says he has seen a lot of response from the community. Active-duty military members and veterans have stopped by and taken photos.
The flags will be flying for about two more weeks, says Thurman.