Bay County is saluting all Armed Force Veterans

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BAY COUNTY Fla. (WMBB) — The annual Bay County veterans day parade and ceremony drew in thousands of people.

High school bands joined veteran organizations along the parade route, which ended at the county government center.

There were several generations of service members honored at Thursday’s parade ceremony.

“We wouldn’t have this country without our veterans,” said U.S. Air Force Chaplain Captain Jacob Williams. “They are our best and brightest.”

Veterans Day is about celebrating all men and women who have served in our nation’s different military branches. For some, it is a tradition.

“I grew up idolizing my grandfather who was an air force veteran,” said Williams.

Williams believes recognizing our veterans is not just a once-a-year event.

“I hope today that we leave this place and we stay in this constant state of honoring,” said Williams.”

And Bay County Commissioner Bill Dozier agrees.

“It should be every day of the year,” said Dozier.

“We all need to take the time to listen to their stories, learn from their experiences, and thank them all for what they have done for us and our great nation,” said Air Force Colonel Steven P. Collen.

Northwest Florida US Reserve Ambassador Michael Teilmann said panhandle communities respect and appreciate the military.

“We’ve had men and women doing enormous jobs, not only in war times but in peacetime,” said Teilmann.

And for some, like former News 13 anchor and Veteran Jerry Brown, family military service dates back to World War I. Brown was the Master of Ceremony at the Bay County Veterans Day parade.

“And in World War II I had uncles that served there,” said Brown. “My brother was an Airborne Paratrooper in Korea. And my service was in the Army Reserve.”

But supporting the military is not just one day a year. Colonel Collen from Tyndall Air Force Base was the keynote speaker for the ceremony.

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