TALLAHASSEE, FL (WTXL) -- While dozens of veterans were part of Friday's Veterans Day parade, several stood on the sidelines cheering them on.
Bill Guhl dressed in his Navy uniform, shaking hands and saluting veterans as he walked along Monroe Street.
"I usually walk along the side of the route, talk to the veterans and thank them for their service, especially for those who served in Vietnam and Korea," Guhl said.
He served in the Navy during the Vietnam War, stationed in Connecticut and Virginia, working with submarines.
"They tell you, 'Join the military. You put on weight. You put on muscle,'" Guhl said, "and I lost 20 pounds at boot camp from worry."
His father served in World War II, and his grandfather served in World War I, but when Guhl served, the Vietnam War was unpopular at home.
He said the American public was rude and "despicable" towards returning soldiers.
"The reason that they served was not political, because they had a commitment to serve the American people and to defend the constitution," Guhl said. "They made a promise. All of us made that same promise."
With the country electing a new commander-in-chief, Guhl said it's important to keep a strong military.
"Speak softly, but carry a big stick," he said. "The military's our big stick, as everybody knows."
Guhl has lived in Tallahassee for 20 years, going to the annual parade for the past decade. He said Veterans Day reminds him of why he served.
"We've got a great country. Many men and women fought and died for it," he said. "Let's keep it free."