Clarksville, TN – Clarksville Mayor Kim McMillan greeted hundreds of military veterans at Liberty Park on Thursday for a Welcome Home Parade, a picnic lunch and musical entertainment.
“We welcome you to Clarksville, we honor you, and we thank you for your service to America,” McMillan said to a lunchtime audience in the Wilma Rudolph Events Center. “Please know that the City of Clarksville, with its special connection to Fort Campbell, especially loves our veterans.”
McMillan also welcomed an honored guest, Shyrell Herrera, daughter of U.S. Army Sgt. Ardie Ray Copas, who in 2014 was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his heroic service as a machine gunner in Cambodia in May 1970. Copas lost his life returning enemy fire to allow evacuation of wounded comrades from the battlefield.
The Welcome Home Parade, featuring veterans marching or riding in troop transport trucks, was sponsored by the Tennessee State Council of Vietnam Veterans of America. It was coordinated locally by Visit Clarksville.
The event was created to honor those who served in Vietman, but now is open to all who have served in any branch of the U.S. military. This was the fourth such annual event in Tennessee and the second to be in Clarksville.
Vietnam Veterans of America said the event celebrated the principle: “Never again will one generation of veterans abandon another.”