Ann Barnes spent two decades deployed across the world during much of her service.
Barnes served as a telecommunications specialist with the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Division. Her deployments took Barnes to Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq and Germany, among others.
The daughter of a military family, Barnes was raised on foreign land. Her brother, sister and youngest child were all born in Germany.
Barnes, a customer advocate for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma, was part of the Oklahoma Supporters of Military Veterans Business Resource Group that took part in the 105th Tulsa Veterans Day Parade on Nov. 10 in Tulsa.
“I was proud to serve my country and carry on the family tradition,” Barnes says. “To take part in the Tulsa Veterans Parade and walk side by side with other veterans makes my heart swell to be acknowledged for my small part in the big picture of protecting my country.”
Taking part in one of the longest-running parades in Tulsa held a special meaning for each of those who participated.
“Personally, marching in the Veterans Day Parade is about honoring and respecting my dad, aunts, uncles and cousins who all sacrificed and fought for our country,” says Daphne Finch, state chairperson for the OK Supporters of Military Veterans BRG. “It’s also important for our city to see that Blue Cross and Blue Shield supports veterans and remembers their sacrifice and that we have military veterans who are proud to be Blue Cross employees.”
Brandee Pait, community chairperson for the SMVH Oklahoma chapter, had a similar motivation for marching in the parade.
“This is very dear to my heart, as my husband served 20 years and my dad was a Vietnam vet and several others in my family are veterans,” Pait says.