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Fourth of July Fireworks

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BATON ROUGE – As the sponsor for WBRZ's Fireworks on the Mississippi for the 4th of July, the USS KIDD is preparing for the event with the help of several local heroes.

Rick Munch and Mack Mackensen are just two of ten Navy veterans who work on the ship each week. Some of the veterans have been volunteering for over 15 years.

"The guys on the ship become part of your family, and even though I've left my family from back in the 60's and came on board this ship, these guys became my ship board family," Munch said.

The veterans did not know each other before hopping on the KIDD, but that has not stopped them from building life-long relationships with one another.

"Well it's just the same camaraderie like you got in the Navy, like Rick was explaining to you. It becomes a family," Mackensen said.

The veterans hold weekly meetings leading up to the annual 4th of the July celebration and for some it holds a deeper meaning.

"Our independence comes as a result of the efforts of our military, and the Kidd and the Veterans' Museum is all about the military so I think it's very fitting to celebrate our independence along with our veterans," Tim Nessmith, USS KIDD superintendent, said.

Families will have to chance to see the biggest fireworks show in the state right along the Mississippi on Monday at 9 p.m. The show can be seen from either side of the river from downtown Baton Rouge or Port Allen.

Even though the event happens once a year, visitors of the KIDD can see Munch and Mackensen along with their fellow veterans there year round.

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