Honoring those who have served


Megan Luecke

Cassandra McGowan, Reporter

Hundreds of people lined the streets of downtown Bakersfield on Nov. 11 with flags and roses to kick off the 92nd annual Bakersfield Veterans Day parade, and to show their appreciation for the service military personnel have provided throughout the years.
Veterans old and young were in the parade and among the crowd.

Wesley Barrientos, a veteran of the Iraq War who lost both of his legs, was the grand marshal of this year’s parade.

Barrientos served in both Iraq and Afghanistan before being injured and returning home in 2008.

The parade featured many local schools, clubs and people who just wanted to make their respect for our military known.

Outlawz Car Club was one of those clubs and has members that are veterans as well as a few members who have children currently serving.

“My son is in the military so I’m here to support the vets,” said Victor Rodriquez.
Other members were just there to support their friends and show their respect.

“[I’m here] supporting the veterans and the car club has vets in it, too,” said Bill Araujo.

Many of the local Reserve Officers’ Training Corps or ROTC were marching in the parade to honor the vets.

Quinn Miller, 14, is part of Bakersfield High School’s ROTC program.

He wants to follow in the footsteps of his father by fighting for his country when he turns 18.

“I actually joined because of my dad. He really inspired me.  He was in the Navy and is now SWAT,” he said.

Quinn was joined at the parade by his mother Misty Miller and father Ryan Miller, and both said they are proud of their son, but concerned for his safety at the same time.

“You want them to be protected,” said Misty Miller.

Misty and Ryan Miller said they couldn’t take any credit for their son’s decision.

“We didn’t push him at all, he did it on his own,” said Misty Miller.

In attendance were many people associated with Bakersfield College. Former BC athletic director Herb Loken, who served in WWII, was one of them.