Veterans celebrated with Patriot Parade in Tazewell

Veterans celebrated with Patriot Parade in Tazewell

TAZEWELL — To honor and celebrate first responders and veterans, patriots gathered together for a Patriot Ride as part of the Tazewell County Fair, on Sunday.

At parade line-up, participants including Tazewell Ta Kwon Do, Tazewell County Firefighters, Tazewell County Sheriff’s Department, Richlands Police Department, and more, enjoyed the camaraderie as they prepared to ride out. Ending at the fairgrounds, the riders maneuvered through the town as onlookers alongside the road enjoyed the patriotic show.

Of the importance of memorial events like this, Tazewell County Sheriff Brian Hieatt said, “We need to remember our veterans.”

After the ride, Major Harold Heatley spoke with the veterans in attendance. According to Hieatt, Heatley himself is a 20-year veteran from the United States Navy.

Preparing for the ride 18 motorcycles joined in the effort to support first responders and veterans. Of the bikers, Bill Asbury, who is also a Tazewell County Deputy, lead the troop of bikes.

As a member of the Iron Titans Motorcycle Club, Asbury said that he and the group’s members knew the ride was something they wanted to participate in. According to Asbury, the riders are local from either Tazewell or the surrounding counties.

“Events like this bring awareness to the public of how many in the community are veterans and the problems they face, like health care,” Asbury said, “We all owe a debt to them.”

Also in attendance preparing for the ride, Janine Addair, decorated her vehicle with patriotic decorations, signs, and even a tyrannous rex. In the back of her truck, her daughter, Kasey Addair, adorned an inflatable dinosaur costume to thrill the children onlookers.

“First responders are everything and take care of our community,” Janine said, “They leave their families to protect our families”

As an instructor at Tazewell Ta Kwon Do, Kanine and Kasey have seen many law enforcement employees and dispatch employees take classes in the dojo. According to Janine, roughly 25% of first responders take classes at the dojo.

Having been a student of the dojo, Hieatt believes that the dojo offers a safe and family atmosphere for responders and citizens.