News article: Parades honor veterans, first responders

Veterans Day isn't the only day of the year veterans are honored with parades. In San Angelo, Texas and Louisville, Kentucky, veterans were at the center of parades recognizing them for their dedication to service.

The Standard-Times reported that school bands from all over San Angelo and other parts of Texas were on hand on Thursday, Dec. 10 to receive 23 veterans wounded and disabled by combat. San Angelo Support for Veterans, Inc. and Lone Star Warriors Outdoors sponsored the men to participate in a multi-day, free-of-cost hunting trip to a number of West Texas ranches.

"Oh my gosh, this was amazing," Chris Gill, founder of LSWO, told the Standard-Times. "I've seen parades out here before but this was totally unexpected."

Uniformed servicemembers drove the 23 veterans along the Concho River route in golf carts as the Goodfellow Air Force Base Honor Guard, the Angelo State University drum corps and members of each branch of the service paid special tribute.

In Kentucky, the 60th inauguration parade – welcoming the state's 62nd governor into office – made sure veterans and first responders received their due. WHAS 11 described how four lines of marching police officers commemorated Daniel Ellis, Cameron Ponder, Eric Chrisman and Burke Rhoads – the four Kentucky officers killed in the line of duty this year. 

An ambulance made its way through the parade as well, in memory of deceased paramedic John Mackey and fire chief Billy Ray Jarvis. 

Servicemembers were also a main part of the parade. Medal of Honor recipient and Kentucky native Dakota Meyer, a Marine Corps veteran, was among those honored. 

Charlie Coleman, a veteran who drove into town to see the parade, was moved by what he saw. "I was a coach. I've lost some players that were killed in Afghanistan and I lost a brother-in-law in Vietnam," he told WHAS 11. "So I'm pleased that they're being recognized today. What a great day for the Commonwealth."