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Welcome Home Military Heroes honor veterans in Lompoc and Orcutt with drive-by salute

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Posted at 4:50 PM, Jul 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-12 00:23:52-04

Santa Barbara County community members held drive-by parades honoring local veterans, including one of the last few living survivors of the Bataan Death March.

On Saturday, Welcome Home Military Heroes organized two surprise honor salutes for a Marine Corps veteran in Orcutt and a United States Air Force veteran in Lompoc.

The Santa Maria Police Department led the vehicle salute to WWII veteran Arnold McLean's home around 1 p.m.

More than a dozen law enforcement officers, the Santa Barbara County Fire Department, motorcyclists and neighbors lined the street near his home to honor his service.

McLean says he felt overwhelmed by the love and support he received.

"This is a surprise. I don't know why I deserve all this. I only did my service to defend my country," said Arnold McLean, Marine Corps veteran.

McLean was a prisoner of war and survived the 1942 Bataan Death March in the Pacific Theater of World War II where 75,000 Filipino and American troops were forced to march 65 miles to prison camps.

Welcome Home Military Heroes also organized a drive-by salute in Lompoc for 84-year-old Jack Waugh who is a USAF Vietnam Veteran.

Community members decorated their cars and met at the Vandenberg Village Shopping Center before heading over to Waugh's home.