BRANSON, Mo. – The annual Veterans Day Parade started in the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of the year as per tradition. The parade was led by its grand marshal, Brigadier General James P. Schreffler.
Excited veterans and their families lined the streets of Branson from where the parade began on Branson Landing Boulevard to its ending point through the historic downtown area. Last year, the parade had 50 different parade vehicles with many choosing to stay home during the pandemic. This year, the parade featured over 66 different groups representing all divisions of the United States Armed Forces.
Many veterans and their families enjoyed their first Veterans Day in Branson today including U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer Richard McCammon.
“I served during Vietnam 65’-87’. They had a whole different attitude toward military people at that time, both civilian and government at that time due to ignorance but that’s okay,” said McCammon. “Here is like coming home. Everyone welcomes you and has a good thing to say to you, so we really appreciate Branson. I’m sure I speak for a lot of the veterans.”
Fellow Navy Veteran Coy Middleton and his wife, Nina, were also enjoying their time at the annual parade.
“I served on eight different ships 21 years,” said Coy Middleton. “Two tours of shore duty before Vietnam started, after Vietnam was over. I’d do it again if it’d have me.”
Even though the end of the parade signals the end of Veterans Week in Branson, veterans are honored in the city year-round.
“People all the time, they see my hat and say thank you for your service, and I say you’re most welcome,” Coy Middleton said.