Family drive-thru parade touches residents at Virginia Veterans Care Center

‘It’s such a wonderful thing that they’re doing with this parade.’

ROANOKE, Va. – The excitement of being in person with loved ones brought many families to tears on Thursday at the Virginia Veterans Care Center in Roanoke.

The center hosted two family drive-thru parades.

These men and women already made sacrifices for our freedom, and now, “They’ve been asked to sacrifice to be away from their loved ones,” said Todd Barnes, administrator for the Virginia Veterans Care Center.

During this time, tears are inevitable, but this group is strong. Some veterans held up signs stating they’re doing “OK” to reassure their families!

“So, this is just another way, among others, that we’ve done to give them the opportunity to see their loved ones,” Barnes said.

The administrative parking lot was open so that families could loop around in their cars, wave, honk and blow kisses to their loved ones.

“It’s sad that I can’t just hug him and kiss him and be with him and go see him every day,” said Shirley Revoir, who was visiting her husband. “He looked like he was going to cry too. He got teary-eyed. It’s such a wonderful thing that they’re doing with this parade.”

Aliene Hodges also took part in the parade to see her father Billy Grice.

“The most important thing is just to let him know that anytime they’ll let me have contact with him, however that is, because it keeps him from feeling so isolated,” Hodges said.

Finding ways to keep families together while remaining apart.

"Not as good as coming in and visiting but…it's alright, as long as I get to see her," Grice said.

The center held two parades on Wednesday and two on Thursday. Barnes said there were close to 100 total families who participated and says staff members are excited to keep hosting these types of events.

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