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South Charleston Holds Annual Armed Forces Day Parade

Reported: May. 17, 2014 7:34 PM EDT
Updated: May. 17, 2014 7:41 PM EDT
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SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Katy Brown) -- Honoring our military, including some of the nation's newest veterans, with an Armed Forces Day parade is a a long lived tradition in South Charleston.

"They could be doing something else, but they're here and showing their support and we appreciate that," SSG Jordan Davis, with the 821st Engineers from Summersville, said.

On Saturday, Davis was among several military members walking in the 55th Annual South Charleston Armed Forces Day Parade.

But it wasn't too long ago that he spent a whole year in Iraq while serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom. And during that time, being away from family was the hardest thing for Davis.

Luckily for Davis, he made it home. But unfortunately, not every soldier comes home alive.

Davis and other members of the 821st escorted the Gold Star Mothers, women who are mothers of soldiers who have given the ultimate sacrifice.

While in Afghanistan, Shirley White's son Robert was with three other soldiers, traveling in a Humvee when they were hit by a rocket propelled grenade.

Robert was the only solider killed in that incident.

"They weren't supposed to be there. The insurgents weren't supposed to be there. But it happened," White said.

While clearing out homes during Operation Spear in Iraq, Emma Johnson's grandson Adam Johnson Crumpler, who Emma raised as her own, died.

"They cleared the first floor and they went to the second floor and [Adam] was the first up and an insurgent hid up there," she said. "They just ran out and opened up fire and threw grenades on [Adam]. And by him giving his life, he saved three others."

Now mothers, fellow soldiers and the community gather to remember those who died serving their country, while honoring those who continue to protect us.

"We're thankful for all the support we've received upon coming home," Davis said. "And we appreciate having the community out here supporting us."

Plans for next year's parade are already in the works.



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