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      Military honored at Parade of Thanks

      It was a day to honor the military in Houghton and Hancock, as the fifth annual Parade of Thanks took place on Saturday.

      After spending six-and-a-half months deployed overseas with the Army National Guard 1431st Engineering Company, Specialist John French of Chassell says seeing the turnout for the Parade of Thanks choked him up a little. And he's not alone.

      Specialist French, the Grand Marshal for the parade, was one of several current and retired military to be honored in Houghton and Hancock on Armed Forces Day in the U.S.

      "It's pretty humbling," said French. "We do what we do because it's our job, and we're very proud to be representing the United States, let alone the Copper Country and the U.P., overseas. We're just proud to wear the uniform."

      They didn't join up for the praise, but on Saturday it was well deserved for the men and women who sacrificed time from family and friends to serve their country, and in some cases, came home injured. And for many members of the 1431st, it was an honor to walk with the retired members of the military who served before them.

      "It's a huge honor to be included with those people," French said. "Our military throughout the past; and those guys had it bad."

      For one military wife, watching the parade was a reminder of the support the community gives soldiers and their families.

      "I think it's important that we reach out to them and say thank you for serving us," said Navy wife, Catherine Reed. "Thank you so much. Maybe you're a reservist and you just came back. You might have taken a pay cut. So, there's a lot of sacrifices, not only financially, but also emotionally."

      For future generations, it was a chance to say thank you for preserving freedom.