Luis and Josie Martinez’s two sons knew they wanted to join the military at a young age. But the Martinezes wanted them to go to college.

Josie thought she could change their minds. She decided to show them the movie “Full Metal Jacket,” a 1987 war movie Luis, a Marine veteran, said accurately depicts Marine Corps training. Certainly, the movie would frighten and discourage them from joining the military.

It didn’t work. Luis and Josie were shocked.

“Would you believe my smallest son memorized everything in the movie? He watched it over and over,” Josie said. “They were really committed to go and help.”

The Martinezes’ sons went on to become Marines and serve in Iraq and Afghanistan. Both are veterans now. Luis and Josie said they could not be more proud of them.

The Martinezes said Veterans Day means a lot to them. The couple attended Del Rio’s Veteran’s Day parade Wednesday morning, hosted by Val Verde County and the City of Del Rio. The parade started at State Loop 79, went down Veterans Boulevard and ended at Gibbs Avenue. It also featured a flyover by a formation of Laughlin T-6 Texan II aircrafts.

The Veterans Day parade was done with much less fanfare than usual because the city and county wanted Del Rioans to celebrate veterans safely. Del Rioan and veteran wife Carmen Gutierrez said Del Rio’s decision to celebrate Veterans Day despite the pandemic shows the city is proud of its veterans and military.

“We will go above any pandemic, over anything that comes our way to make sure our veteran community and military is supported,” Gutierrez said. “We want to make sure they never forget that we won’t forget their sacrifices.”

Gutierrez’s husband of 42 years, Ruben, is a Marine and served in Vietnam. Carmen’s father was in the US Air Force and her father-in-law, the Army.

Veteran and parade spectator Andrew Pavlinski served in the Army for six years. His grandfathers, fathers and uncles also served. Pavlinski said it is a priority in Del Rio to celebrate days like Veterans Day, a significant holiday for him.

“It’s a time for me to reflect on my experience in the military and think about all of my friends and comrades I had the pleasure of serving with,” Pavlinski said. “It gives me the opportunity to enjoy the community’s response and their reflection on the value of freedom in this country.”