Military Appreciation Days Parade honors armed forces at the Market Common

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – The Military Appreciation Days Parade kicked off Myrtle Beach's annual celebration of the U.S. Armed Forces at the Market Common Saturday morning.

The annual parade was held at 10:30 a.m. and traveled down Howard Street and Farrow Parkway.

The Grand Marshal was Captain Deshauna Barber, 27, who joined the U.S. Army Reserve in 2011 and commands the 988th Quartermaster Detachment Company in Rockville, Maryland. She won Miss District of Columbia USA title in 2015, and was crowned Miss USA in 2016.

Barber is the parade’s first female Grand Marshal. “I think that having a memorial day parade is a time to celebrate, it’s a time to celebrate the freedoms that we have here in this country,” said Barber.

She's not only a soldier, but the first soldier to be crowned Miss USA, paving a path for many others to follow.

"So may stereotypes are being broken on both sides of the category, where I'm breaking the stereotypes for what women normally are considered as military women, and then I'm breaking stereotypes for pageant girls. So, it's just a blessing... it's an honor," said Barber.

Barber hopes as a country, we continue to come together and celebrate one another.

"No matter what race, religion, gender.. no matter all these things, I hope that we are able to look at each other as Americans and love each other for that reason," said Barber.

Also in attendance was honorary grand marshal Theodore "Ted" Ross, a WWII veteran who earned a Silver Star for his courageous actions during the Battle of the Bulge. He celebrated his 100th birthday last week.

Myrtle Beach Mayor Brenda Bethune also walked in the parade, along with floats, groups and military equipment honoring veterans and active-duty service members.

The Veterans March will be held at 9 a.m. on Monday, May 28 on Ocean Boulevard.

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