My wife & I just returned from the Austin Veterans Day Parade.
I had the distinct pleasure of standing with SGM Gill; retired Air Force and Army - 44 years service in active and reserve. He started his service in 1942 and retired in 1977—having served in three wars: WWII, the Korean War & the Vietnam Conflict. He is 92 years and has been slowed just a bit by a recent stroke. SGM Gill stood and saluted every American Flag that passed, color guard unit or not. His son kept putting him back in the chair that he had brought which just made the standing task harder each time. I guess anybody that’s been with us for 92 years deserves to take longer to get to their feet each time they do so. What a pleasure this was. We promised each other to meet again next year on the same street corner to watch the 2012 Veterans parade.
SGM Gill and his son
Standing along side of also was Perry Jefferies, the manager of the TexVet Initiative of the Texas A&M Health Science Center, College of Medicine in Round Rock www.tamhsc.edu
Perry is an interesting guy and doing fine work. He coordinated a visit with SGM Gill and his son to meet and record the Sergeant Major’s story. This, I want to hear—44 years, it oughta be a good one.
Another one of my favorite entries in the parade every year is the Retired Chief's Association. A continual participant is Dale Lyons who also happens to sit on the board of directors at the credit union where my wife, Patsy, is the VP of Human Resources.
This was the longest Veterans day Parade that I can remember. We watched for an hour and a half at least. The entries just kept coming.
The one thing that struck me was the number of youth enrolled in the ROTC programs at the local high schools. What a bunch of good looking young leaders of tomorrow. I have included some shots of the various groups below.
James Bowie High School ROTC unit
Akins High School ROTC unit
William B Travis High School ROTC unit
Bastrop High School ROTC unit
I hope you got out today and showed your support. It kinda makes you feel good inside and has the same effect on those around you.