ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Abilene residents gathered at Wesley Court Senior Living Community and Wylie West Elementary School to honor Big Country Veterans on Thursday.

Wesley Court Senior Living Community paid tribute to Roy ‘Hoss’ Allen, a World War Two Veteran.

He survived parachuting from a B-24 that had lost an engine over enemy territory and then spent nearly a year as a prisoner of war in various POW camps in Germany.

“It wasn’t bad; part of it was good. I did a lot of things… and made it out of a plane and survived,” Allen said.

Allen was born and raised in Colorado City before he joined the Army Air Corps. After the war, he returned home to the Big Country. He is the father of former Cooper High School football coach Randy Allen.

Allen, who just celebrated his 100th birthday, was among many Veterans saluted Thursday for their service to our country.

Wylie West Elementary School honored United States Marine Veteran and former Taylor County Judge Downing Bolls. The students sang patriotic songs, shared his story, and expressed gratitude for his and other Veterans’ service.

Bolls served in the Marines for four years, during which he was stationed in Vietnam for a period of time. He worked as a Communications Center Operator before being accepted into service as a U.S. Marine Embassy Security Guard. Later, he worked as an anchor at KRBC and was eventually elected to three terms as the Taylor County Judge.