KILLEEN, Texas — Veterans Day is coming up next week, and the City of Killeen is preparing for a big celebration.
“Being back with the military is just like being one big family,” Parade Co-Chair Guadalupe Lopez said.
Guadalupe Lopez spent 26 years in the Army, and retired as a Sergeant Major. Now he’s the co-chair for the city’s Veterans Day and Memorial Day parades.
The parade was cancelled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic – but this year, they are back in action.
“In the past, we have had as many as 75 vehicles, and a like number of walking,” he said. “So our parade sometimes lasted about an hour and a half. But this year, just looking at the registration forms, and we’re very lucky we have about 50 vehicles.”
The parade will begin at 11:00 a.m. at West Avenue D, next to City Hall, but there will be a presentation from military officials before the parade to honor Killeen and the surrounding cities.
After being away for two years, Lopez says he’s most looking forward to the barbecues after the celebration.
“Most of us, like I said, belong to a veteran activity,” he said. “So once we finish with a parade, we normally go back to our organizations and have barbecues. So if we were in Killeen at that time, you can go to any veteran organization, and they will have a barbecue or, you know, things going on in each of the places.”
Lopez also says if you want to be part of the parade, you can fill out a registration form now, or if it is last minute, you can join the line of cars at the parade next Thursday.
Written by Allison Fox O’Connor