Vets Shared Their Stories at the NWA Veterans Parade

The Northwest Arkansas Veteran’s Parade attracted hundreds to the Fayetteville Square to see veterans march and ride their vehicles and motorcycles. The parade celebrated the sacrifice of hundreds of local vets.

First Sgt. Ray Poynter, 89, was part of the Military Order of the Purple Heart in the parade. He joined the service in 1942.

“We support veterans and veterans homes and we just donated 25-hundred to the cemetery,” Poynter said.

Poynter said he was wounded in WWII by a grenade.

“I got the purple heart on Friday the 13th of April 1945, the night President Roosevelt died,” Poytner said.

Major Charles Adkins Jr., 57, was recalled to active duty in 2006 for three years. He was part of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

“We enjoyed serving our great nation, working in the defense of our freedoms and it was just an unbelievable experience,” Adkins Jr. said.

Sgt. Salena Vaughan is part of the Army National Guard.

“Whether we’re Navy, Marines, Army, we all come together on this day and we support each other and know that we are making a difference in the community,” Vaughan said.

Jessica Martin, 20, is a private first class in the Army National Guard. She said she admires veterans from previous wars.

“It’s nice to listen to their story, go up and thank them for what they did,” Martin said. “I would like to be like that some day.”

Poynter said he’s proud to have served his country.

“It’s an honor to be among veterans and I still feel proud every time I put this uniform, even though it’s a little tight, but I still wear it,” Poynter said.

The parade was organized by the Northwest Arkansas Veterans Day Association.

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