Aztec honors veterans during annual parade

Hannah Grover
At left, Tammy Vandruff and Jason Mobley, both of Aztec, get their float ready on Saturday during the Veterans Day parade on Main Avenue in Aztec.

AZTEC — Members of several local veterans organizations led a procession of community members down Aztec's Main Avenue on Saturday during the city's annual Veterans Day parade.

Among the groups that participated in the parade were San Juan County's American Legion Post 9, Aztec Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 614 and Farmington Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2182.

While Veterans Day was Wednesday, Aztec held off its parade until the weekend. Still, although the event didn't take place on Veterans Day, the message remained the same.

"We've got to remember the veterans," said Clint Dollar, an adjutant with the American Legion, before the start of the parade.

Dollar was drafted in 1971 to serve in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. While he was not stationed overseas, he served in the Army until 1986.

"We've got to remember the vets because of all they have done for us," he said before quoting the popular adage, "All gave some and some gave all."

Four Corners Antique Power Club members make their way down Main Avenue on Saturday during the Veterans Day parade in Aztec.

Recognizing service is one of the reasons Frank Vandruff drove from Kirtland to Aztec to participate in the parade.

Vandruff grew up in Aztec attending parades like the one on Saturday.

He said his father was also a veteran, which drives him to attend the parade whenever he can. On Saturday, he drove his 1935 Diamond T truck down Main Avenue with fellow members of the San Juan Mountain Chapter of the American Truck Historical Society.

Before the parade, Vandruff pointed to the wood inside the cab of the truck.

During World War II rationing, he said his grandmother peeled tomatoes in an old factory in Aztec to earn ration cards. Vandruff said he has since incorporated the wooden floor from that factory into the truck's cab.

"It's got a lot of history," he said.

Hannah Grover covers Aztec and Bloomfield, as well as general news, for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652.

Girl Scouts hand out candy and hold up American flags on Saturday during the Veterans Day parade on Main Avenue in Aztec.