Osage Beach parade honors World War II veterans

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OSAGE BEACH - Eight World War II veterans were featured in the Osage Beach Veterans Appreciation Parade on Saturday.

One-hundred-year-old Orville Stoeber, a World War II veteran, was the parade’s grand marshal.

“It’s an honor for me to represent those people that couldn’t be here,” said Stoeber, who turned 100 last month.

“Whatever you do, do it with sincerity and keep after it. Pursue it. You never get anything done if you don’t pursue it,” he said.

Stoeber also served in the Vietnam and Korean wars.

The parade, which is in its fourth year, featured 71 entrants. 

Organizers began advertising the parade months ago and got the word about this year's focus of World War II veterans, organizer John Morlock said.

The Osage Beach Elks Lodge 2517 organized the parade. A couple of World War II veterans are members of the Elks Lodge, Morlock said.

"The Lake region is a very patriotic region," Morlock said.

Organizers were concerned about turnout because of the opening day of deer season, but the Lake region does a lot to support veterans.  

Morlock, a retired member of the army, recalled participating in Tipton's 4th of July parade in 1991 when he returned on leave from serving in the Gulf War. One of the participants was a World War I veteran.

"To me, it was such an honor to ride in the parade with a World War I veteran, and I just wanted to give the same sense of pride and sense of honor to people today," Morlock said.

He expected the focus of next year's parade to be on veterans of the Korean War.

"We just like to focus on those older veterans because we don't have a whole lot of time that we can honor them in person," Morlock said.