Kyle, 5, and Ian Gill, 3, waved their American flags in the afternoon wind Saturday during the Central Texas Community Veterans Day Parade.
About 50 area veterans, military and local organizations winded through downtown Killeen to show pride and support for past, present and future service members.
“It’s to show American pride,” said the boys’ mother, Raylene Gill. “They’ve done so much for us.”
Gill, of Fort Hood, served in the Army for two years and came to the parade with her two boys.
“We’re here to say thank you, cheer and clap for them and stand for the flag,” she said. “It’s just teaching your kids that people lay their life on the line for us.”
Lt. Col. James Baker, battalion commander for Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, III Corps, said the parade was a great way to not only honor the veterans who served in the Army, but to remember the service members of the different branches of military who all come together as one larger family.
“You can see all of that represented here,” he said. “We take care of each other.”
It’s important to pay homage to veterans who have served in the past, those who are serving now and prospective service members who will continue the fight for freedom, Baker said. “We are honoring the service of all those who came before us that protected our country’s rights and freedoms to this very day.”
His wife, Diane Baker, said honoring the veterans and active-duty service members is a great way to thank them for paving the way for future generations.
The couple has two children and Diane Baker said it was great to watch the parade with other families as they remember that protecting children’s rights means protecting the future of America.
“You want to protect their freedoms so they can pursue the same avenues you had the opportunity to do,” she said.