Thousands gathered at the region’s largest veterans’ parade on Sunday.
The event began with a symbolic wreath laying, to remember the fallen veterans.
One of the five grand marshals in the parade was retired Lt. Col. Kristopher Perry.
While he is retired, he is still surrounded by veterans every day while he serves as the director of Veterans Affairs at the University of Connecticut campus.
"We’re there to grab them when they walk in the door, give them a hug when they walk in, let them know there is a significant veteran program here, to introduce them to the programs here on campus and our veterans student organization,” Perry said.
A portion of that program is known as Veterans Oasis, a respite from the hustle and bustle of campus life.
The Oasis is in the heart of the student union and is a place where veterans can also meet others with similar stories, even if they’re years younger than their peers.
“We’re all pretty much graduate-aged students that are undergrads, so it’s nice to be able to connect with other people who are the same age and have similar backgrounds,” said Samuel Surowitz, a student and a veteran.
The parade began at 12:30 near the State Capitol in Hartford. Perry represented the roughly 1,500 servicemen and women at the UConn campus.
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