APACHE The Kiowa-Apache Blackfoot Society celebrated Veterans Day Saturday with a star-studded guest.
Former Miss Oklahoma and "Paper Roses" singer Anita Bryant serenaded the more than 100 people packed into the Comanche Community Building for the annual celebration. After performing the national anthem, she told the crowd a story of her time on the Bob Hope Tour during the Vietnam War.
"When I signed up for it, he told me that the troops would be the best audience I've ever had," Bryant said. "He was right."
Tribe elders, drummers and visitors looked on and listened as she walked the floor in an Army jacket covered in patches and pins. During each stop on the tour, Bryant said the soldiers would fight their way up to the edge of the stage and give away the patches from their uniforms to the different celebrities. By the final stop, she had so many patches that she didn't know what to do with them. Bryant told the audience she approached one of the base personnel about buying an Army fatigue jacket so she could sew the patches onto it. She was told since she was performing a free concert for them, the least they could do was give her a free jacket.
"By the end of the show, they came up to me and gave me this jacket," Bryant said, pointing to the one she was wearing. "It had some patches on it and I knew they didn't have time to get it together in the short time we were there. That's when one of the men told me about Frances Leon Bryant."