FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The Fresno Veterans Day Parade draws thousands to Downtown Fresno. It is the largest celebration of it's kind west of the Mississippi River. But even before opening ceremonies one Vietnam Veteran made sure to serve those who served our country.
John DeCicco served nine years in the Navy and 14 in the National Guard.
"We serve for this country and we want to make America free and we, of course, want to make America great again."
Along the mile-long parade route DeCicco set up a test kitchen manned by a dozen veterans from Action Towing and East Fresno Kiwanis Club.
Starting at 5:00 a.m. the team cooked enough eggs and pancakes for more than 1,000 people. For the veterans there it was not just about breakfast along the parade route, it was about the comradery.
"I was talking to a Navy cadet over there trying to inspire him."
Sea Cadet Cailan Conlon got a glimpse into his future, thanks to DeCicco. The aspiring Navy Seal knew he would be a part of the Veterans Day Parade but never knew he would receive career advice.
"It was cool-- I got to hear what he did, what the physical requirements were, and people who he met there."
Some of the veterans may have been meeting for the first time but they considered each other family.
"Everyone has unique stories, but everybody has the same comradery. Everyone's been in a certain branch of the military and were all alike together as one," said DeCicco.
Over 1,000 veterans given free breakfast in Downtown Fresno