Thousands of people took to the Texas Veterans’ Military and Classic Car Show in Bullard on Saturday to celebrate and honor the veterans who served America, including three Medal of Honor recipients.
The show allowed visitors to see classic cars, military vehicles and airplanes, a motorcycle parade known as the Patriot Guard, and an 80-foot-high American flag.
Bullard firefighter and event organizer Mike Balfay said all five branches of the military were represented as well as the Army National Guard.
Held at the Cherokee Travel Center, several veterans and Medal of Honor recipients have been recognized for their service.
The winners included World War II veterans Stuart McAnally, August Pahmlyer and Bill Carlisle. Other recognized veterans were Colonel Don Ballard, Bill Jacque, Major General Jay Closner, Lieutenant Colonel Rick Schmitt, Mike Fitzmaurice, Bob Patterson and Clayton Rankin.
Fitzmaurice, Patterson and Ballard received Medals of Honor for their actions in the Vietnam War.
Balfay noted how rare it is to meet someone with a Medal of Honor, as many have passed away since receiving the medal or gained the honor after they died.
He hosted the show for several years because of his respect for those who served the country in the military.
âIt’s not about me or anyone else. It’s about these heroes,â he said. “Every privilege I have I owe to the US military. We should honor veterans everywhere. I just hope that one day the children wake up and realize the great history of this country.”
McAnally, a Navy veteran, fought at Iwo Jima and spent two months in a foxhole on the beach. He also helped rebuild the airstrips.
Pahmlyer served in the Army’s 821st Tank Destroyer Battalion. He won four bronze stars while fighting in France, the Netherlands and Germany.
Carlisle served in the Navy and drove landing craft with five tanks and 50 Marines during the Okinawa invasion.
Jacques served in the military during the Korean War and the Vietnam War. He participated in four campaigns in Korea and received four bronze stars. He was deployed on two tours in Vietnam and received a Silver Star and a Bronze Star.
Closner was in the United States Air Force during the Vietnam War when he served on more than 300 missions.
Schmitt served in the Air Force during the Vietnam War as an F4 pilot.
Ballard served as a Navy medic during the Vietnam War and in the Kansas National Guard Army from 1970 to 2000.
Fitzmaurice served in the army during the Vietnam War. Patterson served in the military during the Vietnam War and the Gulf War.
Rankin served in the military during the Desert Storm and Iraq. He was injured in Iraq in 2003, and he received a Bronze Star with Valor. He is credited with saving 300 lives.
The veterans show is expected to return in September next year, and an exact date announcement will be made within the next two months, Balfay said.