Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center
Veterans Day Parade Salutes Lowcountry Veterans
A sunny and warm Charleston November day was the perfect setting for the 2015 Veterans Day Parade held on Nov. 7 in the Market District to honor and thank Lowcountry heroes of every generation who selflessly served in our nation's military during times of peace or war. Spectators watched as Joint Base Charleston's 437th Airlift Wing C-17 flew over East Bay Street following a welcome speech by Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center Director, Scott Isaacks and the singing of the national anthem by VA Social Worker Susan Storm.
"Today we are proud to honor and remember our Nation's heroes-those who have bravely served to protect our American heritage and freedom," said Isaacks. "We are gathered together in support of all the men and women who donned our Nation's uniforms to defend our freedom against all enemies, foreign and domestic."
The community lined the historic Charleston streets, waving American flags in support of our nation's Veterans. Multiple marching bands, motorcycle groups, historic military vehicles and Veterans Service Organization floats were among the 850+ participants in this year's parade. The Lowcountry Star Touring and Riding Association Chapter 264 led the procession carrying each state's flag and military service flags on more than 80 motorcycles.
The parade also featured Retired Air Force Colonel James W. Shumard, III, as the Grand Marshal. Shumard is an avid volunteer who supports many Veteran causes. Over the past ten years, Shumard has played an instrumental role in coordinating the 50-state flag display presented by the motorcycle riders of the Star Touring and Riding Association Chapter 264. This year however, a recent motorcycle accident left Shumard unable to actively participate. Still, though, he organized the group and the flag procession from his hospital bed in order to continue the tradition of recognizing Veterans from around the United States during the parade. The Charleston VAMC was pleased to honor his military service and his continued service to Veterans by recognizing him as the Grand Marshall for the 2015 parade.
A luncheon was held after the parade at the Charleston VAMC where over $2,000 in donated food from 17 different donor groups was served to parade participants and Veterans. Lowcountry Star, VFW 5091, and Palmetto Warrior Connection served the lunch in the medical center's front courtyard. During the luncheon, a Vet Story presentation was made to Vietnam Veteran William Britton. Britton was presented with a framed collage of photos depicting his life and service to our country. The Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center thanks everyone who participated and helped in the Veterans Day Parade this year.