Reporting Jim Williams
CHICAGO (CBS) -– Servicemen and women joined community leaders on the South Side on Monday for the city’s annual Veterans Day parade.
Under a chilly wind and bright sunny skies, bands marched down the parade route.
Among those watching was Chicago native and 10-year Navy veteran John Stansberry, who said he appreciated all the people who support veterans.
However, he says, a lot more needs to be done.
“Politicians that haven’t been in the military don’t understand it, and we still have a lot of veterans that aren’t receiving the support that they need,” he said.
The 86th annual parade drew sparse crowds as it moved north up King Drive from 43rd Street to 35th Street.
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And over at Union Station, CBS 2′s Jim Williams caught up with retired Air Force veteran Jake Miranda.
In the 1990s Miranda served as a combat medic serving in Somalia and Bosnia.
He described the experience saying “We’re in a helicopter facing enemy fire from below. We’re about 500 feet off the ground. And you have to make the decision whether to continue the journey or pull back. We continued to go forward. Our motto is that others may live”.
Miranda retired from the Air Force. Then 8 years later re-enlisted and spent a harrowing year in Iraq.
When asked if he feared for his life, he responded “every day of every week”.
But Miranda said it was the price he happily paid. As the son of immigrants from Mexico, he and his family had more opportunities in the United States.
“They allowed me an education. They allowed to be the person I am now,” he said.
Today he works as a bank executive, counseling fellow veterans, many from low-income families, who developed a false sense of financial security in the military.
“You’re not paying for food. You’re not paying for housing. You’re not paying for uniforms. Now you think you’re rich because you’ve never had that financial education, you potentially get yourself in credit trouble.”
Out of uniform Miranda continues to serve.
“I love my vets. That’s my passion. Absolutely.”