You often hear about organizations celebrating and honoring veterans, but in a recent story, an entire city did. Earlier this week, a World War II veteran got the surprise of a lifetime for his birthday when the city held a parade in his honor.
WTHR reported Kokomo, Indiana surprised WWII veteran Milt Brown with a parade on Monday for his 95th birthday. The parade included police cars, fire trucks, and other vehicles all carrying American Flags. The parade passed by Brown’s home on Kokomo’s south side, the Kokomo Tribune stated. Additionally, IU-Kokomo choir members stopped by to sing “Happy Birthday,” while VFW members and other military organizations also honored him. WTHR also provided a brief clip of the occasion, posted below.
VFW Post 1152 Commander John Meeks spoke to the Kokomo Tribune before the parade, confident Brown would love it. “This is going to put a smile on a WWII veteran’s face,” Meeks said. “I flat guarantee you that, and it’s just so neat to be able to do that. I hope it’s one of the best birthdays he’s ever had.”
United States Navy Culinary Spec. 2nd Class Zhane Smith also spoke about the tribute to Brown. “I like being able to help out these guys that served in the past. My grandpa served. His dad served. So it’s just one of those things that you kind of honor the people, because I feel like they had it a lot harder than I do now. They went through a lot more and saw a lot more.”
Brown served in the Navy during WWII and said he wasn’t expecting such a celebration, but he’s happy the city did it for him. “It’s a wonderful surprise and I really appreciate all of it.”
Marine Veteran Runs 1,000 Miles for a Great Cause While Holding an American Flag
Whether it’s an entire city honoring a veteran or a single person, there are always ways to show your support for them. One veteran decided to illustrate his by running 1,000 miles while holding an American flag to help get a homeless veteran off the streets.
As a Marine Corps veteran, Russell Larkins understands all too well the struggles they often endure. Realizing how therapeutic running could be for him, he’s turned his interest into a tool to help fellow veterans. His latest endeavor had him run more than 400 laps at Wrightsville Beach, which translates into roughly 1,000 miles. On top of that, he carries the American flag every single lap to draw attention to his cause of helping a local homeless veteran get off the streets.
“There’s a lot of chronically homeless veterans that have mental health conditions,” Larkins told Spectrum News 1. “I have PTSD, I have things like that, and a lot of veterans that I know who were in combat struggle with that. Sometimes you just fall in between the cracks and you end up homeless and there’s no one to help you and that’s why I’m out here doing this.”