TYLER – There was no shortage of patriotism at the third annual Watkins-Logan Texas State Veterans Home parade. Festivities kicked off at 11:00 a.m. with the National Anthem, followed by a red, white and blue balloon lift off and flag presentation conducted by the ALERT Academy Color Guard.

Activity Director Sabrina Wrinkle said this event is all about giving back to those who have served.

“These people risked their lives for us,” she said. “Whether they went to war or not, they put themselves out on the line. This is the least we can do.”

Wrinkle said this year’s event brought the biggest turnout she’s seen.

Tables were filled with balloons and handmade cards. Sidewalks were lined with flags. Both current and retired members of the Armed Forces enjoyed a live band, tapping their feet while enjoying the free cook out.

"I remember when the Veterans come back home from Vietnam and they were looked down upon because of the political environment,” said Tom Lyons, a veteran who served in the Vietnam era. “Maybe some of that has carried over. I don't know, but there's a lot of appreciation for veterans in this country."

Lyons said it is remarkable to see the community come together to host an event like this one, making it the ultimate “thank you.”