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Keesler, Gulf Coast communities celebrate Veterans Day

U.S. Air Force Col. Marcia Quigley, 81st Mission Support Group commander, tosses doubloons to the crowd during the 18th Annual Gulf Coast Veterans Day Parade in Gulfport, Mississippi, Nov. 10, 2018. Keesler Air Force Base leadership along with hundreds of Airmen attended and participated in the parade in support of all veterans past and present. More than 70 unique floats, marching bands and military units marched in the largest Veterans Day parade on the Gulf Coast. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

U.S. Air Force Col. Marcia Quigley, 81st Mission Support Group commander, tosses doubloons to the crowd during the 18th Annual Gulf Coast Veterans Day Parade in Gulfport, Mississippi, Nov. 10, 2018. Keesler Air Force Base leadership along with hundreds of Airmen attended and participated in the parade in support of all veterans past and present. More than 70 unique floats, marching bands and military units marched in the largest Veterans Day parade on the Gulf Coast. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Michael Manning, 81st Training Group deputy commander, Col. Leo Lawson Jr., 81st TRG commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Anthony Fisher, 81st TRG superintendent, march in the 18th Annual Gulf Coast Veterans Day Parade in Gulfport, Mississippi, Nov. 10, 2018. Keesler Air Force Base leadership along with hundreds of Airmen attended and participated in the parade in support of all veterans past and present. More than 70 unique floats, marching bands and military units marched in the largest Veterans Day parade on the Gulf Coast. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Michael Manning, 81st Training Group deputy commander, Col. Leo Lawson Jr., 81st TRG commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Anthony Fisher, 81st TRG superintendent, march in the 18th Annual Gulf Coast Veterans Day Parade in Gulfport, Mississippi, Nov. 10, 2018. Keesler Air Force Base leadership along with hundreds of Airmen attended and participated in the parade in support of all veterans past and present. More than 70 unique floats, marching bands and military units marched in the largest Veterans Day parade on the Gulf Coast. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

U.S. Air Force Col. Lance Burnette, 81st Training Wing vice commander, hands a U.S. Flag to Ethyn Otis during the 18th Annual Gulf Coast Veterans Day Parade in Gulfport, Mississippi, Nov. 10, 2018. Keesler Air Force Base leadership along with hundreds of Airmen attended and participated in the parade in support of all veterans past and present. More than 70 unique floats, marching bands and military units marched in the largest Veterans Day parade on the Gulf Coast. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

U.S. Air Force Col. Lance Burnette, 81st Training Wing vice commander, hands a U.S. Flag to Ethyn Otis during the 18th Annual Gulf Coast Veterans Day Parade in Gulfport, Mississippi, Nov. 10, 2018. Keesler Air Force Base leadership along with hundreds of Airmen attended and participated in the parade in support of all veterans past and present. More than 70 unique floats, marching bands and military units marched in the largest Veterans Day parade on the Gulf Coast. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Sarah Loicano)

The Keesler Honor Guard presents the colors during the Mississippi Gulf Coast Veterans Parade in Gulfport, Mississippi, Nov. 10, 2018. Keesler Air Force Base leadership along with hundreds of Airmen attended and participated in the parade in support of all veterans past and present. More than 70 unique floats, marching bands and military units marched in the largest Veterans Day parade on the Gulf Coast. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

The Keesler Honor Guard presents the colors during the Mississippi Gulf Coast Veterans Parade in Gulfport, Mississippi, Nov. 10, 2018. Keesler Air Force Base leadership along with hundreds of Airmen attended and participated in the parade in support of all veterans past and present. More than 70 unique floats, marching bands and military units marched in the largest Veterans Day parade on the Gulf Coast. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

The Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College Perkettes perform during the 18th Annual Gulf Coast Veterans Day Parade in Gulfport, Mississippi, Nov. 10, 2018. Keesler Air Force Base leadership along with hundreds of Airmen attended and participated in the parade in support of all veterans past and present. More than 70 unique floats, marching bands and military units marched in the largest Veterans Day parade on the Gulf Coast. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

The Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College Perkettes perform during the 18th Annual Gulf Coast Veterans Day Parade in Gulfport, Mississippi, Nov. 10, 2018. Keesler Air Force Base leadership along with hundreds of Airmen attended and participated in the parade in support of all veterans past and present. More than 70 unique floats, marching bands and military units marched in the largest Veterans Day parade on the Gulf Coast. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

Airmen from the 81st Training Group ride a float during the Mississippi Gulf Coast Veterans Parade in Gulfport, Mississippi, Nov. 10, 2018. Keesler Air Force Base leadership along with hundreds of Airmen attended and participated in the parade in support of all veterans past and present. More than 70 unique floats, marching bands and military units marched in the largest Veterans Day parade on the Gulf Coast. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

Airmen from the 81st Training Group ride a float during the Mississippi Gulf Coast Veterans Parade in Gulfport, Mississippi, Nov. 10, 2018. Keesler Air Force Base leadership along with hundreds of Airmen attended and participated in the parade in support of all veterans past and present. More than 70 unique floats, marching bands and military units marched in the largest Veterans Day parade on the Gulf Coast. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

Connor Bentley, son of U.S. Air Force Airman Brandon Bentley, 335th Training Squadron student, attends the 18th Annual Gulf Coast Veterans Day Parade in Gulfport, Mississippi, Nov. 10, 2018. Keesler Air Force Base leadership along with hundreds of Airmen attended and participated in the parade in support of all veterans past and present. More than 70 unique floats, marching bands and military units marched in the largest Veterans Day parade on the Gulf Coast. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

Connor Bentley, son of U.S. Air Force Airman Brandon Bentley, 335th Training Squadron student, attends the 18th Annual Gulf Coast Veterans Day Parade in Gulfport, Mississippi, Nov. 10, 2018. Keesler Air Force Base leadership along with hundreds of Airmen attended and participated in the parade in support of all veterans past and present. More than 70 unique floats, marching bands and military units marched in the largest Veterans Day parade on the Gulf Coast. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Timothy Leahy, 2nd Air Force commander, renders a salute from the reviewing stand during the 18th Annual Gulf Coast Veterans Day Parade in Gulfport, Mississippi, Nov. 10, 2018. Keesler Air Force Base leadership along with hundreds of Airmen attended and participated in the parade in support of all veterans past and present. More than 70 unique floats, marching bands and military units marched in the largest Veterans Day parade on the Gulf Coast. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Timothy Leahy, 2nd Air Force commander, renders a salute from the reviewing stand during the 18th Annual Gulf Coast Veterans Day Parade in Gulfport, Mississippi, Nov. 10, 2018. Keesler Air Force Base leadership along with hundreds of Airmen attended and participated in the parade in support of all veterans past and present. More than 70 unique floats, marching bands and military units marched in the largest Veterans Day parade on the Gulf Coast. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

The Keesler Honor Guard presents the colors during the Mississippi Gulf Coast Veterans Parade in Gulfport, Mississippi, Nov. 10, 2018. Keesler Air Force Base leadership along with hundreds of Airmen attended and participated in the parade in support of all veterans past and present. More than 70 unique floats, marching bands and military units marched in the largest Veterans Day parade on the Gulf Coast. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

The Keesler Honor Guard presents the colors during the Mississippi Gulf Coast Veterans Parade in Gulfport, Mississippi, Nov. 10, 2018. Keesler Air Force Base leadership along with hundreds of Airmen attended and participated in the parade in support of all veterans past and present. More than 70 unique floats, marching bands and military units marched in the largest Veterans Day parade on the Gulf Coast. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

Airmen from the 81st Training Group carrying the 50 state flags march in the 18th Annual Gulf Coast Veterans Day Parade in Gulfport, Mississippi, Nov. 10, 2018. Keesler Air Force Base leadership along with hundreds of Airmen attended and participated in the parade in support of all veterans past and present. More than 70 unique floats, marching bands and military units marched in the largest Veterans Day parade on the Gulf Coast. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)
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Airmen from the 81st Training Group carrying the 50 state flags march in the 18th Annual Gulf Coast Veterans Day Parade in Gulfport, Mississippi, Nov. 10, 2018. Keesler Air Force Base leadership along with hundreds of Airmen attended and participated in the parade in support of all veterans past and present. More than 70 unique floats, marching bands and military units marched in the largest Veterans Day parade on the Gulf Coast. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

U.S. Army Retired Sgt. 1st Class Harry Rhizor, World War II veteran, attends the 18th Annual Gulf Coast Veterans Day Parade in Gulfport, Mississippi, Nov. 10, 2018. Keesler Air Force Base leadership along with hundreds of Airmen attended and participated in the parade in support of all veterans past and present. More than 70 unique floats, marching bands and military units marched in the largest Veterans Day parade on the Gulf Coast. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)
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U.S. Army Retired Sgt. 1st Class Harry Rhizor, World War II veteran, attends the 18th Annual Gulf Coast Veterans Day Parade in Gulfport, Mississippi, Nov. 10, 2018. Keesler Air Force Base leadership along with hundreds of Airmen attended and participated in the parade in support of all veterans past and present. More than 70 unique floats, marching bands and military units marched in the largest Veterans Day parade on the Gulf Coast. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

Airmen from the 81st Training Group march in formation during the Mississippi Gulf Coast Veterans Parade in Gulfport, Mississippi, Nov. 10, 2018. Keesler Air Force Base leadership along with hundreds of Airmen attended and participated in the parade in support of all veterans past and present. Approximately 100 unique floats, marching bands and military units marched in the largest Veterans Day parade on the Gulf Coast. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)
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Airmen from the 81st Training Group march in formation during the Mississippi Gulf Coast Veterans Parade in Gulfport, Mississippi, Nov. 10, 2018. Keesler Air Force Base leadership along with hundreds of Airmen attended and participated in the parade in support of all veterans past and present. Approximately 100 unique floats, marching bands and military units marched in the largest Veterans Day parade on the Gulf Coast. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

Keesler participates in Veterans Day Parade
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Airmen from the 81st Training Wing out of Keesler Air Force Base, Miss., participate in the 18th annual Gulf Coast Veterans Day Parade in Gulfport, Miss., November 10, 2018. Keesler Airmen from throughout the 81st Training Group marched in the parade, the largest of its kind in the South Eastern U.S. (U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. David J. Murphy)

Keesler participates in Veterans Day Parade
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Retired U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer Ken Schneider salutes a boy at the 2018 Gulf Coast Veterans Day Parade in Gulfport, Miss., Nov. 10, 2018. Schneider and his son, Reese, also a retired chief petty officer, marched in the 18th annual veterans day parade along with dozens of other groups from throughout the Gulf Coast. (U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. David J. Murphy)

Keesler participates in Veterans Day Parade
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The Keesler Air Force Base honor guard march in the 18th Annual Gulf Coast Veterans Day Parade in Gulfport, Miss., Nov. 10, 2018. The color guard was joined by a large contingent of Keesler Airmen from the 81st Training Group. (U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. David J. Murphy)

Keesler participates in Veterans Day Parade
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Keesler Air Force Base Airmen ride a float in the 18th Annual Gulf Coast Veterans Day Parade in Gulfport, Miss., Nov. 10, 2018. Keesler participation in the parade included the Keesler Honor Guard, the 81st Training Group "Blue Knight" Drum and Bugle Corps and the 81st TRG 50 State Flag Mass. (U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. David J. Murphy)

Keesler leadership participate in veterans day parade
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Col. Beatrice Dolihite, 81st Medical Group commander, throws candy at the 18th Annual Gulf Coast Veterans Day Parade in Gulfport, Miss., Nov. 10, 2018. Keesler leadership rode in Corvettes, Mustangs and other sports cars during the parade, which is the largest of its kind in the South Eastern U.S. (U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. David J. Murphy)

Keesler leadership participate in veterans day parade
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Emily Quigley, daughter of Col. Marcia Quigley, 81st Mission Support Group commander, hands out flags at the 18th Annual Gulf Coast Veterans Day Parade in Gulfport, Miss., Nov. 10, 2018. Keesler leadership rode in Corvettes, Mustangs and other sports cars during the parade, which is the largest of its kind in the South Eastern U.S. (U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. David J. Murphy)

KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. --

Keesler leadership and base personnel participated in the 18th annual Gulf Coast Veterans Day parade celebration in Gulfport, Miss., Nov. 10.

"It's an absolute honor to be a part of this parade today, and a part of this community," said Col. Lance Burnett, 81st Training Wing vice commander. "There's not anything we couldn't do at Keesler without the support of the community."

Created as a way to recognize and honor veterans in the Gulf Coast communities, parade committee president Mary Ellen Landry said events like the parade are more important than ever to bring military and civilian communities together.

“The community is unbelievable in their support, just absolutely wonderful,” she said. “We couldn’t do this this parade without the support from the military bases. I’m not military myself but I want to thank them. They stand up when others don’t.”

The largest Veterans Day parade in the southeastern U.S., the parade featured more than 70 marching groups, floats, Junior ROTC drill teams, military formations and community and civic organizations. Representing Keesler were Second Air Force, 81st Training Wing and group commanders, the 403th Wing vice-commander, the 81st Training Group Blue Knight Drum and Bugle Corps, 81st Training Group 50 State flag mass and marching flights from the 334th and 366th Training Squadrons and Keesler Honor Guard, among others.

Parade attendee Kim Doe said her family, including father, uncles and her husband’s family, were all veterans.

“It’s important for our family to watch and attend to say thank you,” Doe said.