Why a Denver veteran says it's OK to not wear red, white or blue on Veterans Day

Parade and special ceremonies honor veterans

DENVER - As he stands atop a concrete block on 14th Avenue near Civic Center Park, Job Warner continuously claps his hands and occasionally lets out a few shouts of "thank you" and "good job" as he watches the Denver Veterans Day Parade.

It's Warner's first Veterans Day Parade since he moved to the city six years ago and seeing the people marching and the different military vehicles driving down the streets takes him back to when he, too, served. He was a member of the army from 2004 to 2011 and worked in the Explosive Ordinance Disposal which he says is the military's bomb squad.

"My first time going over to Iraq was 2006 -- January to July --and we dealt with [improvised explosive devices] that were around the Tikrit area," Warner says. "2005, 2006 and 2007 were the height of IEDs. That was the buzzword in the media."

More than a decade later, Warner now stands with strangers wearing patriotic shirts and hats, though he is not wearing anything red, white or blue.

"It doesn't matter how much red, white or blue you wear," he says. "That's not going to tell the story of how American you are by any means."

The clothes he wears also doesn't define how proud he is of the people currently serving in the military, who did serve or who lost their lives while protecting the U.S.

"All it takes is thinking about the people that aren't here today to able to appreciate this to make me remember that I am here and that I am very thankful for that," he says.

As he continues watching different groups pass by him, he says he feels like he's a family reunion with a bunch of people he's never met.

"A person who went through World War II and me, who went through the Iraq War -- maybe we didn't serve on the same battle lines and in the same war zones, but we have similar experiences when it comes to what it's like to have to rely on and depend on your fellow brothers and your other service members to live and to get by each day," Warner says as he continues to clap, wave and cheer on the parade.

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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