BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. — While Independence Day is a time to honor and celebrate America, the holiday can be difficult for some servicemen and women.
At the American Legion Post in Boynton Beach, veterans from all walks of life come together.
"I was in the United States Air Force for almost 26 years," one veteran said.
"I joined the United States Navy Armed Guard Service," another veteran added.
They united Monday to celebrate America's independence.
But for retired U.S. Army Sgt. Jack Lord, the Fourth of July brings back even more memories.
"It's the day after I came home from Iraq, so it was my first full day back with my family," Lord said.
WPTV was there for that moment in 2005 when Lord returned home to his family after 18 months overseas.
"Every week at some point, something reminds me of what happened in Iraq, and I think about my friends," Lord said.
Seventeen years later, PTSD brings Lord back to Iraq.
"I hear those booms going off, I'm still going to jump," Lord said. "I still wonder, is it gunfire? I mean, it's not one time where my first thought is it gunfire. It happens all the time."
Those days spent fighting for freedom were worth it, though, Lord believes.
"I still believe we are one of the best countries in the world and there is no reason we shouldn't celebrate it," Lord said.