PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — At the annual Portland Veterans Day Parade hundreds of people lined the streets to honor the brave men and women who served our country.
It’s been 50 years since Ray Messa was in Vietnam during what he said was a trying time. Vietnam used to be a topic he couldn’t talk about but now he can march with military pride.
“It makes me feel really good now, because when we came home we didn’t get that,” Messa told KOIN 6 News. “We sort of just faded into the background when we got out of the service, so to be recognized now, and to be thanked, is really special.”
For others like Napoleon Hodgers, being a soldier ran in the family.
Hodgers served for more than a decade and he continues to serve now as the executive director for the National Association for Black Veterans in Portland. He works to help those vets access their benefits, get new jobs and more.
He felt honored to see the crowd cheering along Sandy Boulevard.
“We sacrificed our time and our energy away from our families to make sure that we’re defending our country, so it means they’re recognizing what we did,” he said. “That’s what it means to me.”
Portland showed they’re proud of what these men and women do for the Red, White and Blue.
Veterans Day is a holiday, so several offices are closed, incluingd the city offices for both Portland and Vancouver. Federal offices and courts are also closed.
Post offices are closed and mail will not be delivered. But TriMet is operating its normal weekday schedule.