Veterans From Each Branch of Armed Forces Lead Parade

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The city of Hastings got an early start on celebrating our nation's veterans with a parade Saturday morning, featuring not just one grand marshal, but five.

They range from age 27 to 90 and gained experienced in various locations and different wars, but they come together as veterans from Nebraska.

"General Patton's 3rd Army. We were in the Battle of the Bulge," said World War II veteran Reinold Schutte.

"I enlisted in the Navy right after high school in 1951. The Korean War was just starting at that time and they were drafting people," said John
Schiefelbein of his experience.

One man from each branch of the Armed Forces led the Veterans Recognition Parade. They're all veterans, but they said their experiences have differed vastly.

"Usually if they see this cap they come right up and talk to me. I even have little children come up. It wasn't but about a week ago that a little girl came up and gave me a thank-you card," said Schutte.

"Really there wasn't much support and all. It was kind of like, well here I am, but nobody really talked too much about it. It's not like nowadays, they welcome you home. It was kind of a letdown to come home from that," Schiefelbein said.

Air Force veteran Mike Marymee remembers the protesters during the Vietnam Era, but said that was just the way of the time.

"It kind of goes along with people that protest today. I always felt that I served so they had the right to do that," Marymee said.

But they all said, it's good to know that most people have the military's back nowadays.

"Now the public opinion of the military is totally changed since the Vietnam War. They're very open. If you walk in with a military jacket, they'll shake your hand or buy you a cup of coffee or a drink or something, say thank you. That just didn't happen when I came back," said Lee Daily, who served in Vietnam as a marine.

"Everybody for the most part around here just say thanks for your service," added former Coast Guard Jesse Schakat. "They're very appreciative."