Digital Original: World War II veteran and wife celebrate 70 years of marriage by watching a personal parade honoring his services

Digital Originals

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – This week marks the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II.

However, it’s also a very special milestone for 98-year-old veteran Robert Gilliam, who celebrated 70 years of marriage to his wife, Martha, by watching the parade honoring his services.

Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System Home Health Care chose Patriot Day to host the celebratory parades, honor six Central Arkansas veterans.

“Wow, that’s something else man,” says Gilliam. “I tell you it really is. I can’t believe it. I cannot believe it. A personal parade.”

Vehicles were decorated with posters and flags, as they drove past veterans’ homes paying tribute.

However, Gilliam says what he was most grateful for was being able to share the event with his lovely wife.

“She’s my rock,” he explains.

Gilliam was stationed in Ulysses, Kansas, where he met Martha. They dated for 10 months and got married on September 9, 1950.

“This was very nice of them to do for us,”  he says.  

Gilliam was one of 5 other World War II veterans to receive a personal parade, four of those vets were located in Hot Springs.

Each veteran was presented with a commemorative coin as a way to honor their service to our country. 

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