Thousands turn out for parade honoring veterans

Published On: Jun 30 2012 02:40:36 PM CDT

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- Several thousand people lined the streets of downtown Des Moines for a parade that honored veterans and current members of the armed services.

Gov. Terry Branstad's office organized the Saturday morning parade, which began at the state Capitol with a flyover of F-16 jet fighters. Branstad, who served in the Army from 1969 to 1971, also marched in the parade, wearing his old uniform.

Daryl Johnson, of Mason City, carried a POW/MIA flag as part of the parade's color guard. The Vietnam veteran tells the Des Moines Register  that it was an honor to participate and carry the black and white flag.

More than 100 units, floats and bands, as well as about 2,000 marchers, were part of the roughly hour-long parade.