ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – For many veterans and active-duty service members, the annual Abilene Christian University tribute at Moody Coliseum is a second home on Veterans Day. The event brings the community together for a celebration expressing gratitude to local heroes.

Quanah Parker, ACU alum and Vietnam War Veteran, said he attends every year to honor those who didn’t make it home.

“I try to come every year because it makes me feel better about things, you know, that was tough times back then,” said Parker.

He also shared the difficulties Vietnam soldiers faced when returning to the United States.

“They told us to take our uniforms off as soon as we landed you know, and this is a pleasant situation here,” Parker recalled.

Parker’s family moved to Abilene after his dad returned from World War II in 1945. Growing up in a military family, he eventually joined the army, serving from 1968 until 1972.

The tribute featured prayers and a performance by the choir at Taylor Elementary. The students ended their performance by singing God Bless America with the audience.