AUSTIN-- It was a day to honor the men and women who serve their country.
High profile politicians came out Sunday for the Central Texas Veterans Celebration at the Riverbend Centre in West Austin.
Larry Gatlin and the Larry Gatlin Brothers opened with singing the Star Spangled Banner accompanied by the University of Texas Airforce ROTC.
Gatlin said he nor his Gatlin brothers had the opportunity to serve. He said "Our way of serving, things like tonight."
About veterans, Gatlin told KVUE, "We honor them. Pray for them and their families. And what great young men and women who keep us safe! God bless them."
Following some hit songs of the past and banter with the crowd, Gatlin introduced Governor Rick Perry.
Perry said, "We need to do everything that we can to make sure those young men and women, our veterans, as they come home, are very efficiently, very effectively, taken care of."
The Governor said there is no higher calling than public service, and "in that realm, I don't think there is any higher level than wearing the uniform of your country."
Also taking the stage, United States Senator John Cornyn, whose father was a former POW.
He says Texas will continue it's work to help employ veterans.
"I think there is nothing better we can do than remember and honor their service and sacrifice and hold them up as a role model."
Senator Cornyn said "especially now that our military service is completely voluntary, these are people who have chosen to put themselves in harms way, hardship of military life, not just the service member but also the families."
The famous former POW, Jessica Lynch, spoke about overcoming her injuries and fears.
After 20 surgeries over nine years, she says she is still struggling but surviving the pain.
She spoke of her comrades who didn't survive.
"What I can do is honor them and celebrate what they did, especially like this today. "
The Historical Color Guard of Fort Hood also gave a performance which earned a standing ovation.