PALM SPRINGS, Calif. -

Next week, we will be watching fireworks, barbecuing, and celebrating our country's independence. We wouldn't have that freedom without the men and women who fight in the armed forces.

Twin brothers John and Lou Turley have shared more than their looks over the last 88 years, they served together in World War II.

"The army was the only option we had because it was the only branch of service twins could stay together unless the military would permit," John said.

The Turleys are honored as California Veterans of the Year. It's an honor usually given to one man, but Assemblyman Brian Nestande thought their story was too interesting to pass up.

"There's three of them that fought in WWII," Nestande said. "Ed is in Ohio and he was in the invasion of D-Day and John and Lou joined them a week later and served in Germany and Belgium and Japan."

Son of a World War II vet, CBS Local 2 Chief Meteorologist Patrick Evans emceed Fridya's event in Palm Springs. About a dozen other World War II veterans from the 'Greatest Generation' were honored as well, given pins and medals by men of a younger generation.

"We are here because all the veterans kept the United States free. And to honor them is a very important thing to do," said Army and Marine Corps Veteran Sgt. Michael Morningstar.

Just ahead of the Fourth of July, there's a simple way to honor the land of the free, because of the brave; by remembering who fought and those who were willing to give up their life and their families for our freedom.