The date and time are set: Noon on Saturday at Kiener Plaza. That's when a grassroots effort to create the first-of-its-kind welcome home parade for Iraq war veterans becomes a reality.
Will you go to the parade? If you could personally greet one of the returning war veterans, what would you say? We'd love to have your comments below. We'll compile and forward them to the parade organizers.
The parade is scheduled to travel west on Market Street to Union Station where organizers will provide a resource bank for veterans between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. There, returning sailors, soldiers, marines and airmen can find services from the Red Cross or Department of Veterans Affairs and enjoy entertainment from 3 to 8:30 p.m.
Organizer Craig Schneider, of St. Charles, told KMOX-AM that the parade is not just a way to welcome veterans back home and to say thank you. It's to help them adjust and to allow them to put their military skills back to work in the community.
The parade started with a grassroots campaign to raise money, along with support from readers of a Facebook page dedicated to the effort. That page now has more than 4,500 members. According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the parade organizers have received $10,000 from Anheuser-Busch and $7,500 from Mayflower to help defray expenses.
Will you attend the parade? And what would you say if you could address a single war vet, face to face?