Marching Orders : President Trump calls for military parade
Planning for the military parade requested by President Donald Trump is now underway.
President Trump's parade proposal is reportedly inspired by France's Bastille Day celebration. A date hasn't yet been set, but according to White House reps, Trump's plan is to hold the parade this year, in Washington D.C. Vietnam veteran Ronald Smith said there no better place.
"With all of our military monuments there. The Vietnam Memorial, the WWII Memorial, now the Korean Memorial, and Arlington," said Smith.
Smith served in the U.S. Army for three years. When he came home, amid anti-war protests, there was no warm welcome. He thinks a parade like this is long overdue.
"Every year there should be something going on because these are the people who are putting their butts on the line for this country," said Smith.
It's less about recognition and more about closure for six-year Army veteran Matthew Kopscak.
"Not just for me, but for a lot of other fellow veterans. Just the aspect of having that pride once again," said Kopscak.
Kopscak was medically retired in 2004 after his convoy was hit in an IED attack in Iraq.
"The whole left side of my body was shattered," said Kopscak. "I had massive spinal injuries and head injuries."
Most hope this parade will honor those like Kopscak and Smith. The Washington Post reports Trump's vision includes marching soldiers alongside tanks, a theme Marion Wetherbee can't get behind.
"No," said Wetherbee. "I think that would be awful."
A former Army wife, Wetherbee said she's all for a parade, as long as the purpose is to bring about awareness for service members and veterans.
"It's just not as prevalent that we recognize them as being important and I think that's really sad because they do sacrifice themselves for us," said Wetherbee.
The last military parade was in 1991, after the first Gulf War. Those against a new parade site the theme, inconvenience, and expense. For Smith, the price has already been paid.
"Freedom is not free," said Smith. "Somebody has got to pay for it."
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