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      Amarillo kicks off Veterans Day celebrations with a parade

      Hundreds of people lined Polk Street Saturday morning for Amarillo's annual Veterans Day parade.

      While Veterans Day isn't until Friday, citizens still came out and showed their support for the men and women who gave so much to our country.

      "It's to honor the veterans and I'm proud to be a Vietnam vet and I'm proud to be with all of these soldiers that we used to serve with and I'm proud of the soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq," said Vietnam War Veteran, Gary Heeter.

      Heeter, a veteran from Borger, says he couldn't be happier to be a part of the parade honoring those who have truly let freedom ring.

      "It just makes us feel good, because we weren't treated real well when we came home from Vietnam, but this makes up for it. It's an honor for me to ride in this parade and have people clapping for us and applauding, it makes you feel good."

      Heeter continues to do his best to make those overseas feel good as well.

      "I make little crosses and give them out and I've sent them to Afghanistan, I've sent 20,000 overseas to our troops. I'm proud of our troops."

      The chilling winds and brisk temperatures didn't stop people from coming out to see those who have protected our country past and present.

      "To, the veterans are the reason we're still here, we have veterans clear back to the Civil War that should be honored, because without them we would be around," said Parade Spectator, Barbara Vaughan.

      One way or another war veterans have touched every single American's life, because they put their lives on the line to protect ours.

      "This just reminds me that we have a lot to be thankful for, that's because without god and these people we wouldn't be here today."

      Along with veterans the parade included marching bands from area high schools and Boy and Girl Scout troops.

      The parade started on 11th and Polk and made its way across downtown before it ended at 5th and Pierce.