Hundreds gathered along the banks of the San Antonio River to salute the thousands of women and men who serve in the military, and those who serve in the United Services Organizations (USO) at the Armed Forces River Parade on Saturday, hosted by the Paseo del Rio Association.

The USO has provided a myriad of services for millions of military families across the nation for the past 75 years. They work to ensure the needs of every military family are met from the moment they join the forces to beyond their retirement. 

Widely known as “Military City, USA,” San Antonio is home to three military bases and has one of the country’s largest groups of active and retired soldiers. The river parade is just one of several ways the city honors the military heroes who protect our freedom.

Families and individuals decked out in our country’s colors waved and cheered as uniformed members of all five branches of the military passed by on more than 20 patriotic floats. Several floats told the stories of World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War, Gulf War/Desert Storm, and Iraqi Freedom/Enduring Freedom.

Hundreds of yellow ribbons adorned the trees lining the river as part of the Yellow Ribbon Project, an initiative that provides friends and families the opportunity to honor their loved ones who have served or are currently serving in our country’s armed forces. The ribbons had been along the River Walk for three weeks prior to the parade, which has occurred annually since 2011.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this article said there were six military bases in San Antonio, when there are only three. 

Top image: Members of US Air Force Academy salute the American Flag during the National Anthem. Photo by Kathryn Boyd-Batstone.

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Camille Garcia

Camille Garcia is a journalist born and raised in San Antonio. She formerly worked at the San Antonio Report as assistant editor and reporter. Her email is