CRESTVIEW — Residents on Monday showed their gratitude to veterans and active duty members of the armed forces.
The Crestview Veterans Day parade featured student groups, businesses, social clubs and the Loomis Bros. Circus elephants.
See photos from Crestview's Veterans Day Parade here>>
Among veterans accepting the crowd's accolades was former 1st Sgt. Thomas Seagle, who served during World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War.
Seagle said he narrowly missed storming the Normandy beaches on D-Day when a last-minute reassignment was delivered.
"I got pulled out at the last minute because they formed a new company," Seagle said. "I missed that slaughter. I've been blessed."
Another World War II veteran, former Staff Sgt. Bill Miller, described how he met his wife of 69 years, Kathleen, while she served in the Royal Air Force's Women's Auxiliary Air Force and he was stationed in England with the U.S. Army.
"I backed over her in a jeep," Miller said.
The couple's daughter, City Clerk Betsy Roy, said her dad went the wrong way around an English roundabout and had his mishap when he tried to reverse out.
Parading organizations included veterans organizations, Cub Scout packs, Girl Scout Troop 625, the Young Marines, the Shoal River Mustang Club, the American Legion Riders motorcycle club, Hadji Shrine from Pensacola, and OC's Towing, which paraded its giant wrecker trucks.
Air Force Brig. Gen. Mark Stogsdill (Ret.), grand marshal, rode in a World War II jeep as the Crestview and Baker High School and Davidson Middle School bands performed patriotic music.
Real estate agents from ERA Realty passed out American flags, which parade goers waved high against a bright, sunny sky as groups, including the Baker and Crestview school ROTC battalions, marched past.
Contact News Bulletin Staff Writer Brian Hughes at 850-682-6524 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @cnbBrian.