BULLARD, Texas (KETK) – The Texas Veterans Military Show began Saturday with a parade starting at Stewart’s Family Funeral Home in Tyler and traveling down Old Jacksonville Highway to Highway 69 in Bullard.
As a Medal of Honor recipient Col. Don “Doc” Ballard was a special guest in the parade, but he said the honor doesn’t go to him.
“The honor goes to all the veterans, it’s not just the medal of honor recipients, because I wear this for the guys that saved my life, and I was awarded the medal for saving other people’s lives,” said Col. Don “Doc” Ballard, Medal of Honor Recipient.
The route ended in Bullard where East Texans could enjoy live music, food and see military equipment past and present.
“They can meet some of these veterans, they can see the equipment that was used in different battles, what the veterans in the military do,” said Mike Balfay, board president and event organizer for Bullard Volunteer Fire Department.
Balfay said the event is to mostly educate the younger generation.
“To help the young people see what they can become and understand it and recognize, support, and show love to those that have already been there and done it,” said Balfay.
“Learn as much as they can because we fought for them to have the freedom they got, and we’re just one generation away from losing our freedom,” said Col. Ballard.
Balfay said the event is also to help the veterans.
“They need an opportunity to get out in front with other vets and relive some of the things they went through, they need the opportunity to see these vehicles that they drove in and rode in, whether it be 20 years ago, whether it be 60 years ago,” said Balfay.
Col. Ballard said the day is a great way for the community to see what the military does. He left everyone with this final message.
“I want them to appreciate and know that what we did for them and their freedom was a sacrifice to us,” said Col. Ballard.