To the Editor: On behalf of our Texas Veterans Parade Committee, we offer a patriotic "THANK YOU" to the 35 plus floats, military honor guards, helicopter, airplanes, bands, humvees, jeeps, vintage vehicles, firetrucks, military ambulances, active duty soldiers, and heroic Veterans, that made the first Veterans Parade in Navarro County in 77 years a great success!
In his Victory or Death letter, Alamo Commander William Barrett Travis wrote "I call on you in the name of Liberty, of patriotism and everything dear to the American character, to come to our aid." This is exactly what military bases, Veterans, churches, organizations and citizens did for us, to create the 2022 Texas Veterans Parade. They deserve this public thanks.
The last Navarro County, Texas Veterans Parade in 1945 had as its Grand Marshall World War II Medal of Honor recipient, First Lieutenant Audie Murphy. In 2022 we were grateful for Afghanistan Medal of Honor Recipient, Lieutenant Colonel William Swenson who served as our Grand Marshall. Instead of riding a white horse like Audie Murphy, Will Swenson rode standing up in a Vintage Jeep owned by COL. Thomas Mohler, Chief of Chaplains, Texas State Guard. Our "Ops" Directors, Kevin Eubanks and Billy Richards made it all look easy and deserve the praise of our community.
On Friday night we kicked off the Armed Forces Day weekend in Corsicana, Texas and Navarro County with a Medal of Honor Event and Show at our beloved 101 year old Vaudeville Palace Theater. Master Army Command Sgt. Archie Davis masterfully led us in the pledge of Allegiance. Great food, drinks and fellowship opened an evening that saw entertainer Dave Tanner take us through his "Music of the Greatest Generation" before our hero of the battle of Ganjgal, discussed his six hour struggle against the Taliban in 2009. Elizabeth Brown our CEO, and Leah Blackard and her theater team were a joy to work with on this success.
The evening wrapped up with a "Holy Smokes" Christian devotional on Sixth Avenue presented by Chaplin Thomas Mohler complete with cigars given to him by Mr. and Mrs. Rush Limbaugh the famous broadcaster.
The Corsicana Daily Sun, and radio stations "KAND" and "The Ranch" allowed us to spread the word and raise the awareness. Their support helped us this year and will set the stage for our 2023 Parade. (Date to be announced soon!)
Our sponsors are invaluable and included our Medal of Honor sponsor Fun Town RV, the Little GIGI Family office, Collin Street Bakery, the dental office of Pete McElroy, VeraBank, Watkins Construction, Oil City Ironworks, the Bill McNutt Family, Bruce and Ellen Robinson, Encompass Business Solutions, Community National Bank, with additional and necessary support from the Corsicana Chamber of Commerce, Netta Blanchard, Sylvia Navarro Tillotson, Michael Durante, Corsicana City Manager Connie Standridge, Mayor Don Denbow and their hard working team at City Hall. Salute to The Corsicana Downtown Association and Director Amy Tidewell, Corsicana Rotary, the Copy Center, our State Senator Brian Birdwell and his excellent Chief of Staff HW Dickey.
Behind the scenes organizers Pam Neff of Iowa and Johanna Koether of Tampa, Florida keep things running smoothly and deserve a "high five." As does Joe Hill for organizing our reviewing stand, County Judge HM Davenport for the VIP Brunch, Martin Blanchard, Congressman Jake Ellzey, committee members Murphy Johnston, David Croom, Mark Archibald, President Kevin Fegan, the Liberty Jump Team, and Paster Danny Reeves for allowing us to meet at his church.
In conclusion, we offer special praise for the following high ranking military officers. Brigadier General Caroline M. Miller of Ft Sam Houston who sent the best military band in Texas, this side of the Fighting Texas Aggie Band. Rear Admiral Richard V. Timme for providing the worlds most famous rescue Dolphin helicopter. Lt. Gen. Paul Funk, the Fort Hood commander for the participation of the famous 1st Calvary Honor Guard, compete in their historic blue 19th century horse cavalry uniforms.
God Bless Texas! Thanks for the opportunity to honor the more than 3,000 Veterans who reside in the best county in the Lone Star State.
- Bill McNutt,
Founder, Texas Veterans Parade