ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Hundreds of people from the Big Country gathered in downtown Abilene to celebrate and honor local veterans. Although Veteran’s Day is on November 11th, the parade was held earlier. Victor Bruns, Veteran Service Officer for Taylor County, explained the reason behind this decision.

“We did do this on the fourth of November… That was because we wanted Dyess to participate, and they couldn’t do that on the 11th. So we had all the Dyess personnel that could come out. We got children out here. There were other veterans out here,” Bruns shared.

He added that he served for 21 years and has a special place in his heart for others who have served.

“We love doing this for veterans. But we are so glad to sit here and let our veterans know that they are appreciated for what they do,” Bruns explained. “It’s a really nice, warm spot to come out and see what Abilene can do for the veterans. I have a special place in my heart for veterans because I mean, I did 21 years, and I have received appreciation in my time. A lot of our Vietnam veterans and other veterans that went over to Afghanistan and other places. They don’t get the attention that I did when I got out. So, I greatly want to pass that on to those veterans that we greatly appreciate their sacrifice.”

Richard Olguin, who served in the United States Air Force for 20 years, loves the support Dyess and the Abilene community offer veterans.

“We support the base for the veterans; they do everything for the veterans. Everybody else, you know, they appreciate the veterans here in Abilene,” Olguin said.

He also shared his appreciation for all those who came out to honor veterans.

“I’m grateful that all these people here in Abilene support the veterans for the big turnout that we had today, and it was a nice parade with a lot of good memories,” Olguin said. “They don’t realize what it means to the veterans to see them, you know, their appreciation for it.”