Council Bluffs Veterans Day Parade coming sooner than actual holiday

Time runs steadily toward the Council Bluffs Veterans Day Parade.

The annual event will kick off at 11 a.m. on Saturday, November 5, on South Main Street and Ninth Avenue.

Clayton “Cactus” Shanner and Brad Powell will be honored as the two great leaders of this year’s rally.

After serving in the US Army for more than 20 years - including two tours of service in Vietnam - Clayton “Cactus” Shanner of Council Bluffs…

Shanner, 85, joined the U.S. Army on September 13, 1955, at the age of 18, and served for more than 20 years, including two tours of service in Vietnam.

Along the way, Schaner is set in Fort Benning, Georgia; Heidelberg, Germany; Fort Lewis, Washington; Fort Meade, Maryland; Fort Riley, KS; and Fort Carson, Colorado. He was discharged on May 1, 2023 with the rank of sergeant.

Despite his long career in trucking, he has been involved in many activities at American Legion Post No. 2 in Council Bluffs.

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This year’s Council Bluffs Veterans Day Parade will honor Brad Powell as a great leader, as well as Clayton “Cactus” Shanner, who was…

Powell, 71, joined the US Navy after earning an undergraduate degree in computer programming at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids.

After basic training, Powell was assigned to a naval base in Tennessee now known as Naval Support Activity in the Mid-South. The base was a regional training center for Army and Navy personnel. Powell was involved in scheduling courses and keeping records of students who trained there. He served for four years and was discharged on January 18, 1975.

He and his family moved to Omaha, where he worked at First Data Resources for 31 years. After their four sons graduated from high school, he and his wife, Susan, moved to Council Bluffs. He has been active in several state, county, and local veterans organizations and has served as an officer in most of them, as well as a webmaster for many organizations.

The show will follow its usual route, going north on South Main Street and Pearl Street to West Broadway, running east to Main Street and then back south on Main Street to Story Street, where participants will exit.

Free lunch will be served after the show at American Legion Post No. 2, 716 S. 4th St. The event will include raffles, auctions, and prizes.

Parade information, including online and postal entry forms, parade route and rules, can be found at

For more information, contact the Council Bluffs Veterans Day Parade Committee at [email protected] or call 402-319-3999 or 402-490-3070.

Members of AFJROTC Unit IA-951 walk along Pearl Street as they lead the annual Veterans Day parade at Bluffs Council on Saturday, November 7, 2020. The warm, sunny weather was a welcome addition to the event, and many people turned out to celebrate veterans and service members at Southwest Iowa.

Joe Shearer, asymmetrical file photo