ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – A special day to thank our local veterans and service members. The annual Veterans Day parade in downtown Abilene brought people of all ages to watch floats, performances, and service members marching.

Richard Olguin, Vietnam War Veteran, recounted that for Vietnam war troops things weren’t always easy when they came back home.

“It makes me feel good, because serving 20 years and now is lot better when we first came back from Vietnam, because now we are accepted. The ones from Vietnam weren’t accepted.” Olguin explained. “So now its more of that appreciation that we gave it all for the country.”

His daughter Sonja Olguin remembers how hard it was to grow up as a military kid. Her dad was constantly away, but now as a mom, she is thankful her kids can spend time with their grandfather.

“They’re gone for long periods of time that will end, and they will get to be home with you. And he gets to be with my kids and that to me, is more important,” Sonja explained, adding that her dad never misses any of her kids school events.

The parade also featured high school students in ROTC. Many with ambitions to join the military as young adults. Donnell Montague celebrated his granddaughter Eriqa, who marched today for the first time with Abilene High ROTC.

“It feels wonderful because I’ve been here since she was one-year-old in my household. And see her come to what she is now, I’m really proud,” Montague expressed.

As a grandfather, he said he is proud that Eriqa plans to join the marines upon graduation. He is excited to attend events like this to celebrate veterans and honor the ones lost. He is hopeful that in the future, he can attend a parade and celebrate his future marine granddaughter.