POTEAU – The annual Veterans Day parade is Nov. 7 in downtown Poteau.
The parade starts at 10 a.m. Line up begins at 9 a.m. at Carl Albert State College. Bands and walking groups will need to be at the Reynolds Center.
The theme is Veterans Answer the Call: Always and Forever. This year, the spotlight is on women veterans. All women veterans are invited to participate in the parade by riding in the float provided by Wanda Ludwig or you could use your own float or vehicle. All spectators are encouraged to wear a mask or social distance while supporting the veterans.
This year’s grand marshals are Wanda Ludwig, Chapter Commander of the Disabled American Veterans Chapter #63, and Bonnie Prigmore, director of the LeFlore County Museum at Hotel Lowrey.
Ludwig joined the U. S. Navy in 1969, serving three years active duty at Quantico Marine Base Naval Hospital as a Medical Corp Field Medic. She then served three years reserve duty in Connecticut. She volunteered as a band mom for a number of years in Port Orchard, Washington and established the first Community Band – a band for all ages and they specialized in marching.
After serving her nation and raising a family, she and her husband moved to Poteau and in 2012 joined the local DAV Chapter. She has spent many hours helping other veterans receive the benefits they need. She helped start the first food truck delivery in southeastern Oklahoma. It continues to serve 125 plus people each quarter. She is active with the LeFlore County Veterans Parade Association and volunteers each year as a bell ringer for the Salvation Army.
Prigmore joined the U.S. Air Force in 1974 where she spent 4 ½ years at F. E. Warren AFB in Cheyenne, Wyoming as a Law Enforcement Specialist. After her time in the military, she completed her BA degree and raised her family. She then worked as the director for the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program in Amarillo, Texas. Bonnie moved back to the Poteau area in 2002 and took the job of Poteau Chamber of Commerce Director. During her time there, she worked with Jim Berngen to bring the Vietnam Veterans Moving Wall to Poteau. From that experience she helped form the LeFlore County Parade Association and continues to serve on their board.
She serves a Secretary/Treasurer with her church and serves as President of Maxey Cemetery Association. She serves on the advisory board of the EAST program at Kiamichi Technology Center.