Callaway Veteran’s Day parade brings back memories for veterans

Local News

CALLAWAY, Fla. (WMBB) — Thursday was the 27th annual Veteran’s Day parade for Callaway.

This day brings back a lot of memories for veterans.

80-year-old Wayne Barrens is a U.S. Air Force veteran. He served in the Vietnam War and hasn’t missed a parade in the last ten years.

“It’s a very very memorable occasion and it’s just about the only time I put on these jungle fatigues is this time of year and it’s just really meaningful,” Barrens said. “It brings back a lot of good and bad memories for me, but I wouldn’t miss it for the world.”

The parade is also a tradition for 92-year-old Army veteran Howard Gains.

“Veterans Day to me is – it’s just a wonderful country and I think an awful lot of Veteran’s Day and what our government stands for,” Gains said.

He’s been to all 27 Callaway parades.

Gains was in the Army for more than 20 years, serving in both the Korean and Vietnam wars.

It was in Korea that Gains was assigned to the 25th Infantry Division and earned his promotion to Staff Sergeant (E-6). He reflected on memories he had while serving in Korea.

“I did a lot of sports in fact, I liked checkers, I liked horseshoes, so the commander there, he thought pretty much of me, so he gave me a stripe because of it,” Gains said.

And Barrens said he’s thankful for his time in the U.S. Air Force.

“I spent my youth in the Air Force and it was a wonderful career,” Barrens said. “If I had to do it again, I’d do it again the same way the United States Air Force has been good to me, good to my family.”

Hundreds of residents gathered along Cherry Street for the parade which ended at Veteran’s Park.

Callaway City Manager Ed Cook said the city enjoys showing veterans how much they are appreciated every year.

“Callaway loves the fact that we have the opportunity every year to come together and just support our veterans and our local military personnel and just show them how much the city appreciates them at this parade,” Cook said.

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