FORT SMITH (KFSM) – The third annual Veterans Day Parade and Fall Festival was Saturday (Nov. 8) at Chaffee Crossing.
For the nearly 3000 people who came out to the parade, Saturday was about honoring those who served. Mike Bell is a Vietnam veteran who served from October 1967 to October 1968.
"I was in the mortar platoon. [I] shot the mortars,” Bell said. “But infantry is infantry. [You’re] still on the ground, out where the action is.”
He was drafted, and eventually retired as an E5 Sergeant.
"I was lucky. Came back [with a] minor wound. But, I got lucky and got a Purple Heart out of it,” Bell said.
"Veterans Day is for the men and women that served our country,” said 10-year-old Boy Scout Luke Monk, who was with his troupe.
Ivy Owen with the Chaffee Redevelopment Authority said nearly 3000 people showed up to the parade, estimating around 1000 were veterans.
The event also featured helicopter rides, food, flu shots and an art exhibit.