First in the nation…
St. Louis held the first “Welcome Home the Heroes” parade in St. Louis, Missouri.
Good for them. Nicely done, St. Louis.
Upon my return from Desert Storm, we didn’t have a parade. Partly, that was because we were stationed in Germany. Not surprisingly, the Germans weren’t wild about having formations of US troops marching triumphantly down the streets of the local towns. They weren’t hostile to us, mind you, just not eager to see us crow about our victory.
We did have a brigade pass in review formation shortly after our return. It was just about the most frustrating evolution I ever took part in.
In our brand new desert camouflage (we didn’t get them until the day before our flight home), the brigade formed up on the post parade ground. The brigade commander got up and made remarks for almost 40 minutes. He thanked the spouses for their support. He thanked the soldiers of the rear detachment. He thanked virtually every agency on post. Heck, he thanked the fine folks at the commissary for their hard work in our absence. The on thing he never did, was tell us what a good job we had done while deployed.
No awards or commendations were given. Just the speech. Then we passed in review, and went back to work.
A few days later, when the time came to award Combat Infantryman Badges and various medals and awards, there was no formation. Just a line out the First Sergeant’s office to pick up your orders. Mail call was held with more dignity.