American Legion named next year's Veterans Day Parade organizer

parade veterans day

Retired 1st Sgt. George Ballard, still wearing his Army dress blues after 33 years of retirement, watches the Crestview Veterans Day Parade.

BRIAN HUGHES | News Bulletin
Published: Tuesday, November 13, 2012 at 02:48 PM.

CRESTVIEW — Organizers already are planning for next year’s Veterans Day Parade, having named the American Legion its host and eyeing the local VFW and AmVets organization for 2013 and 2014, respectively.

This year’s parade — hosted by local Disabled American Veterans Chapter 57 — drew 32 official marching units, down a few from last year’s 40-plus, but last-minute groups that showed up increased the number of participants, organizers said.

“We had 37 total entries this year,” DAV adjutant treasurer Debborah “Pinky” Jimison said. “Once you start counting up the people, gosh, we had well over 500 people who participated.”

From service members’ covers to Shriners’ fezzes, Cub Scout baseball caps to clown hats, the variety of headwear worn by marchers as they paraded up Main Street Saturday morning reflected the diversity of a community united by one goal: to honor local military veterans.

Landon Drake, 5, attending with his sister Jordan, 3, baby brother Dayton, 1, mom Leanne and grandmother Melissa Drake, smiled broadly as the groups went by. He seemed happy to receive an American flag to wave from a 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) soldier.

“I told him ‘thank you,’” Landon said.

“Wave your flag,” Melissa Drake encouraged her grandson. “We’re saluting our veterans today.”

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