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Russel W. Stable, Published September 14 2011

Sincere thanks to Barnesville

I am writing on behalf of myself and the entire Vietnam Veterans Color Guard. We wish to thank the committee and the town of Barnesville, Minn. Marching in the parade on Aug. 27 during Potato Days was a pleasure, but it was the people and the reception we received that made it so.

In past parades in the area, something has always been lacking. People have failed to show proper respect for the flag, and there’s been a general lack of patriotism. Barnesville changed this. At the parade, people stood up and rendered honors to our nation’s flag, but they also stood and showed us they cared for the nation’s veterans.

Your welcoming and appreciation for our service and applause made us stand straighter and taller and march sharper than we have for a long time. We saw that people cared and that we mattered, as opposed to the original welcome we received upon returning home. It also made the parade route feel shorter, although it is the longest parade we did so far this year.

After the parade, we were given welcomes, handshakes and hugs, which made us feel great. We were also asked if we would be back next year. I can only respond with a resounding “Hell, yeah!”

You folks are fantastic and are a pleasure. Bless you all, bless Barnesville and this nation.