Andress to lead annual Meeksville parade: ‘It’s a great honor to carry the American flag’

first_img Andress to lead annual Meeksville parade: ‘It’s a great honor to carry the American flag’ Remember America’s heroes on Memorial Day Published 3:00 am Saturday, July 2, 2016 Latest Stories Troy falls to No. 13 Clemson “As boys in the Banks community, we shot marbles together,” Dunn said. “I won all of Ben’s marbles,” Dunn said. “But, he’ll tell you a different story.”And Andress did.“I won all of Charlie’s marbles. Did he tell that?” Andress said, laughing. Andress retired from the Alabama National Guard with 30 years of service.“I joined up with the National Guard as soon as I was 17 years old,” he said. “I tried to sign up when I was 14. Jimmy Hussey came home from the Army with his uniform on and that set me on fire. I lied to the recruiter about my age. When he asked me what year I was born I told him and told on myself. He told me to come back in a couple of years and they could use me.”Andress served on active duty in Chicago for two years during the Cold War. He was a member of an anti-aircraft battery and was proud to have an opportunity to serve his country in that capacity.“I had served with the National Guard in Troy, went on active duty and came home and served 10 more years with the Guard in Brundidge,” he said.As a civilian, Andress was a “fireman” in Troy and worked in the oil fields.“I worked at Fort Rucker until I got too old to work,” he said, laughing. “When Charlie organized his group, I wanted to be a part of it. I’ve been carrying the flag for Charlie’s Angels for 18 years but I’ve been carrying the flag for my country for about 46 years. For all those years, except for the last two parades, I’ve carried the American Flag every step.”On Monday, Ben Andress, American patriot, will be the Grand Marshal of the Meeksville Fourth of July Parade. He would prefer to walk the one-mile-plus parade route but he agreed to ride a vehicle.Andress had thought to drive his pickup in the parade but the parade committee would like for him to ride in the lead vehicle.“I’m going to dress in my uniform and I’ll just carry the flag on the truck,” he said.“I can’t walk all that far but I can still carry the flag.” By Jaine Treadwell Email the author Book Nook to reopen Plans underway for historic Pike County celebrationcenter_img You Might Like Experts predict record travel for holiday weekend This Fourth of July weekend will be the most travelled in recorded history, according to numbers released by AAA Monday…. read more Skip Sponsored Content By The Penny Hoarder Print Article Pike County Sheriff’s Office offering community child ID kits The Penny Hoarder Issues “Urgent” Alert: 6 Companies… Ben Andress of the Banks Community has been named Grand Marshal of the Meeksville parade. The parade is at 10:30 a.m., Monday, July 4 in Meeksville. Everyone is invited.The grand marshal of a parade is expected to be a good and truthful man.Ben Andress is being honored Monday as the Grand Marshal of the 2016 Meeksville Fourth of July Parade.But Charlie “Sarge” Dunn, the leader of Charlie’s Angels, a retired military association, poked a little fun at Andress, who is a boyhood friend. Good friends can joke with each other and Dunn likes to kid his longtime friend. But, when Dunn turned serious, he said there’s no better friend, no finer man, no greater patriot than Ben Andress.Dunn organized Charlie’s Angels 18 years ago and Andress was among the first to join.For all those years and for hundreds of parades, funerals and other patriot events, Andress has been the flag bearer for Charlie’s Angels.“Someone had to carry the flag and I wanted it to be me,” Andress said. “For me, it’s a great honor to carry the American Flag. The flag of the greatest country on earth. And it was great honor to serve my country.”last_img read more