Thousands gather to watch Milwaukee's Memorial Day parade

CREATED May 26, 2014 - UPDATED: May 26, 2014

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MILWAUKEE - Anthony Elgeti served in Iraq nearly a decade ago, but he can't talk about it without getting choked up.

"I'm actually pretty fortunate. I had a bomb go off in a truck and it killed a soldier next to me. I'm lucky to be home"
The West Allis native watched Milwaukee's Memorial Day parade from the War Memorial in the company of his wife and seven year-old daughter.
Elgeti says he was born to be in military, as he looked to the role model of his grandfather who served in the Korean War.
"Before I was old enough, at 17, my mom and dad said hey do you want to go into the army? So I signed the waiver and I was in.Well I'll tell you, it definitely changes you."
By the time he was 21, Elgeti was on his way to the Middle East.
"I served in Iraq, actually Saddam's hometown, and hauled fuel from northern Iraq to southern Iraq on a daily basis."
Elgeti nearly lost his life in that truck bombing. He is always reminded of it, not just on Memorial Day.
"It's hard, but it's great to know that people support you. It's not like it used to be with some of the Vietnam Veterans who used to get spit on. Nowadays you come home and everyone is here for you."