Taylor was in a parade this past Friday night, 6-13-08, for the Water Fest. She invited her neighbor, Jack Palmer, a B 17 top turret gunner to ride with her, he said YES. She also invited a Korean army veteran, Merlin Huff to ride with her, he said YES. The whole idea of being in the parade was to bring awareness to supporting the troops and our veterans, and that is what the signs said on the truck, along with the American flag and POW flag.
SFC. Noble, US Army, rode in the back with Taylor. He is one of the recruiters that helped Taylor when she had her Military Appreciation Night. While Taylor may kid him (you know how Marines are!) she really likes him. He has been wonderful to her and has offered up all his help for Taylor's Gunny's Veterans Ride. In fact, the whole recruiting office of the Army has been extremely supportive and have offered up their help and other things for Taylor. We are so incredibly appreciative of these guys, especially SFC. Noble. He rode with Taylor, he smiled and waved to the crowd as they stood and clapped for him, for Taylor and for our 2 wonderful veterans we had with us.
Tanner and Kevin walked in front of us, holding the banner that the Daughters of the American Revolution had made up for Taylor for her outstanding patriotism. I was driving the truck and I will freely admit that there were several times I was brought to tears. When you stand on the side lines of a parade and you see the veterans come, you hear only your section clap. Driving down the road, except for a few small areas, everyone clapped. And I finally got to see first hand how many people do indeed do the right thing. We will keep working on the ones that don't.
One incredible moment happened, gives me goose bumps........We got about half way through the parade and a lady came right up to the truck and talked to our neighbor Jack. She had a very heavy accent and she asked him if he had been over the Netherlands. I stopped the truck for her to talk to him and I am so glad I did. Her husband was liberated by the Americans. She was so grateful, to hear her voice and the passion in which she spoke, it was like nothing I have ever heard. I HATED to have to get going again but the parade was now backed up because of us and I had to go. It was an amazing moment.
Once the parade was over, Taylor jumped down and asked me if I heard all the people clapping and all the people yelling THANK YOU, I told her I did and it was one of our neater moments I have to say!