It’s about time for a parade

We are extending a huge thank you and welcome home to all the Vietnam veterans and to those who served during the Vietnam era. Sometimes we take freedom and independence for granted, but at this time of the year especially (Memorial Day and Fourth of July) we need to remember and thank those who served in our United States military services at any time.

My daddy, Bill Gill, was considered a “lifer,” and we grew up as “military brats,” which I am proud to be! Daddy retired after a tour of duty in Vietnam during [the] Tet [[Offensive], [and] the family relocated to his hometown of Statesville in the late ‘60s. Daddy retired as a command sergeant major, and we are all very proud of him. My two older brothers (Mark and Mike) served in the Army and Navy, and the younger twins (Robby and Tommy) served in the Army and Air Force, and we all very proud of them as well. Thank you, Daddy, and thank you, my brothers!

On Saturday, June 28, at 11 a.m., the town of Troutman will host a parade sponsored by the Marine Corps League #1097 that will begin at the Iredell County Agricultural Fairgrounds. Vietnam-era veterans who served “in country” or stateside will ride on floats as our grand marshals. (They don’t have to reside in Iredell County; we already have entries from five states!) We “welcome home” these soldiers who were never properly welcomed home during this trying time for the United States, and we thank them sincerely.

Any Vietnam-era veterans wanting to ride on the grand-marshal float should contact the town of Troutman at (704) 528-7600 or send an e-mail to: to get an entry form prior to June 13. We are also still looking for entries from churches, businesses, civic organizations, scout troops, youth groups and marching bands.

Deadline is June 13. We already have a lot of veterans registered from five different states, and we even have a submarine that will be in the parade!

We say thank you to all military personnel and to all of those who supported them.

— Linda and Patrick Larkin

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