LUBBOCK, Texas — A stream of cars lined the parking lot of the Garrison Geriatric Education and Care Center for a parade on Thursday to honor veterans.
Eric Urban, an administrator with the Garrison Center said they were surprised with the number of cars that decided to join the parade.
“It’s a chance for our residents to kind of be outside and be involved with the community and we’re just so grateful for everyone,” Urban said.
Some of the cars were residents’ family members, giving them the opportunity to reconnect from a safe distance.
“It was very touching, very sweet to see some of these residents who have been under our care to really reconnect with their families,” Urban said.
Garrison is home to four veterans. They were placed under a tent decorated with red, white and blue streamers.
Veteran Sam Leroy Sanders said he was emotional watching the parade.
“I got to see my boys,” Sanders said.
Commander of Veterans of Foreign Wars, Benny Guerrero, said being confined to a room with no visitors can take a toll on veteran’s health.
“I know that those that suffer PTS, not being able socialize with COVID has really dampened them a little bit more,” Guerrero said.
Prior to the coronavirus, Guerrero, along with members of VFW, would visit veterans at nursing homes, but has had to settle for phone calls for now. Another issue veterans are facing right now is refraining from presenting military honors at funeral services.
“We’ve lost two already in a nursing home. We’ve lost two,” Guerrero said.
Guerrero said for more than 40 days, they were not able to present military honors at funeral services, including the two who died of coronavirus. This past week, however, city officials authorized VFW to resume full military honor services, and were able to hold a funeral on Sunday.
“I want to thank Mayor Pope and the city for doing that,” Guerrero said.
At national cemeteries, veterans are being interred without customary committal services and funeral honors.
To view a Roll of Honor, a list of fallen veterans, visit the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website.