Big chill affects turnout for Raleigh Veterans Day parade

RALEIGH, North Carolina (WTVD) -- The annual Veterans Day parade rolled through Raleigh on a blustery, bone-chilling Saturday. Cold windy weather could be the reason for a smaller than expected crowd, but those who stood and cheered also warmed the hearts of the men and women in uniform.

Retired Army Reserve Brigadier General, Mike Warmack smiled while telling ABC11 about how proud he was "To see all the veterans from past wars, one big family."

"As we know, freedom is not free," Warmack said. "Home of the free because of the brave, and it's because of these people out here. It's a great honor to respect our older veterans, from World War 2 and Vietnam."

Anna Martin of the USO echoed Warmack's praise for the men and women who assembled in Raleigh for the parade.

"It's always important to be appreciated, to know that you've done a good job and your community is behind you," she said.

Advocates said Saturday's sparse turnout doesn't mean there's not enthusiastic support for veterans since many people observed the day at home.

Wake County Veterans Services director, Dougie Johnson had this advice for those people:

"If you live next to an elderly veteran, one of the little things (they'll appreciate) may be next time you go to the store, asking that veteran if he has enough food in the house. Maybe cutting their grass or something like that every once in a while. Those little things mean a lot to veterans."
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