Veteran of the year helps kick off Veterans Day parade

MILWAUKEE -- Clayton Chipman was just 17 when he dropped out of high school to join the marines.  And he is quick to point out he only served in one battle during his time in the service during World War 2.  That battle, just happened to be one of the deadliest in America's history, Iwo Jima.

"You talk about being scared.  That's not even the correct word.  There has to be some other better language that has a better word," says Chipman.

Chipman recalls his time in the service, just before hopping into a convertible before downtown Milwaukee's Veterans Day Parade.   Among rows and rows of other service members, the now 86-year-old Chipman is receiving special appreciation.  The Marine is being recognized as this year's veteran of the year.

"First of all when you get together with the people you were with and all these fellows.  We were all in similar wars.  You know, whatever it was, you have a brotherhood with these people," says Chipman.

Chipman, was on the front lines for nine days in Iwo Jima, before being hit by shrapnel.  He wasn't alone in his injuries.  There were 250 people Chipman's company.

"4 guys walked off that didn't get hit or wounded, or whatever.  That's a pretty high percentage of problems," says Chipman.

After service, Chipman went back to school and dedicated his life to education.  He is a retired teacher and principal.  On Saturday, November 10th, thousands waved to him as he drove by in the parade to thank a true American hero.

"This is magnificent, with all the people here, and all the veterans.  I can't complain.  People have treated me fantastic over the years," says Chipman.