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Preparing for a day of honor in Killeen

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.

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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

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