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What Would You Say to a Returning Iraq War Vet?

If you could speak to one of those vets face-to-face, what would you say? What kind of welcome would you give, as St. Louis prepares for Saturday's first-of-its-kind welcome home parade?

The date and time are set: Noon on Saturday at Kiener Plaza. That's when a grassroots effort to create the first-of-its-kind welcome home parade for Iraq war veterans becomes a reality.

Will you go to the parade? If you could personally greet one of the returning war veterans, what would you say? We'd love to have your comments below. We'll compile and forward them to the parade organizers.

The parade is scheduled to travel west on Market Street to Union Station where organizers will provide a resource bank for veterans between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. There, returning sailors, soldiers, marines and airmen can find services from the Red Cross or Department of Veterans Affairs and enjoy entertainment from 3 to 8:30 p.m.

Organizer Craig Schneider, of St. Charles, told KMOX-AM that the parade is not just a way to welcome veterans back home and to say thank you. It's to help them adjust and to allow them to put their military skills back to work in the community.

The parade started with a grassroots campaign to raise money, along with support from readers of a Facebook page dedicated to the effort. That page now has more than 4,500 members. According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the parade organizers have received $10,000 from Anheuser-Busch and $7,500 from Mayflower to help defray expenses.

Will you attend the parade? And what would you say if you could address a single war vet, face to face?

Ed Appelbaum January 25, 2012 at 11:04 AM
Thanks for all the effort in planning this great event guys !!!
Jack Bock January 25, 2012 at 05:44 PM
Welcome home troops and thank you for your unselfish service to this great country which you have protected for the past 10 years. Good job! Our whole family will be there. Will we see you?
Solambe January 25, 2012 at 07:47 PM
Thank you!!!
Martin L. Harris January 26, 2012 at 04:06 AM
Thank you Sir/Ma'am (hug / handshake ) for your sacrifice, service and dedication to our Nation. We love you and support you, family and friends. You are fighting to preserve our further and the next generations freedom. As an American I'm proud to stand by you. ( Hug / Handshake ) and Welcome you home. Thank you for our Freedom. PS. My son has just completed his fourth tour. His unit is being deployed again in April. 3rd Infaniv. Fort Stewart. Georgia
David February 10, 2012 at 11:11 PM
Welcome home Troopers Thank you for the cause Enjoy your family reunion!!

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