It is Memorial Day weekend, and one Western Massachusetts native, who has dedicated his life to the Army, wanted to share that dedication Saturday with the people he cares about most.
"It was never in doubt," said Col. David Preston. "When I got selected to make colonel, right off the bat I knew I would be coming back to Belchertown."
Preston has spent the past 22 years in the Army, but for him, it all comes back to where he grew up. Saturday, in the same building where he attended elementary school, Preston received a promotion to colonel.
"It is really tough to get," Preston stated. "I was very fortunate. I am only here because of the folks who helped get me here. It is about my mom and this community raising me with good morals and values. They really set me up for success."
It is easy to see that the town holds a special place in Preston's heart. Not only was he raised here, he got married in this town. While Western Mass will always be home, Preston has lived in five countries during the last two decades.
"It is about service. It is about serving something that is bigger than you are," said Preston. "It is about serving your country. It is too easy to sit back and take your freedoms for granted. I am the kind of person that wants to get out there and do something about it."
Preston liked the idea of holding the ceremony during Memorial Day weekend, as it gives the military an even bigger piece of the holiday spotlight.
"The weekend is not about promotions, it is not about family, it is about the soldiers that made the ultimate sacrifice," said Preston. "Soldiers that I have served with. That is who needs to be remembered and honored this weekend."
In his first assignment as colonel, Preston and his family will spend the next three years in Hawaii.
He told CBS 3 that his family is looking forward to the year-round warm weather.
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