Veterans and community gather for Armed Forces Day Parade

LAWTON, OK (KSWO)- Many lined the streets of downtown Lawton Saturday morning to show their support for our local service members in honor of Armed Forces Day.

"Our Heroes, A Purple Heart City," was the theme of this years Armed Forces Day Parade. It's all to celebrate our service men and women and Lawton being named A Purple Heart City.

"It's refreshing," said
Gary Perry, an area veteran with the Poor Boys Tractor Club in Fletcher. "It's refreshing to have somebody walk up to you and say thank you for your service, especially being from Vietnam because that's something we didn't get when we came back."

Perry said the support from this community is what makes coming back year after year to be in the parade worth it.

"I'll come down and do it every year, as long as I can," said Perry. "I'm getting older, so it's harder to do."

Brooke Maxwell, a former military wife who watched the parade Saturday said it's hard not to be emotional when you see how much love people have for those who serve.

"It's truly amazing, honestly," said Maxwell. "I love seeing people give the support to the troops that they actually need and recognition. A lot of people don't really acknowledge that they are soldiers 24/7 and it's a big deal, especially for the families to go through all the trials and tribulations that they go through."

Perry hopes people left the parade with a sense of pride and patriotism.

"They see the military and hopefully they think people are doing a good job, and they are," said Perry. "The military is exceptional. They do a dirty job. People don't really understand. People that hadn't been there don't understand. It's really difficult to tell somebody about going to a combat zone or being in the military and being gone all the time."

After the parade, the celebration continued over to Elmer Thomas Park for a car show.

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