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Haralson named 2024 Dogwood Festival Parade Marshal


Joe Waymon Haralson has been named the 2024 Dogwood Festival Parade Marshal. In an article on the festival's page, a little bit of history on Haralson was shared;


Mr. Haralson was born in the Tyler County Hospital in August of 1950. He has always been told by his family that he was the second baby born there, though he said he cannot confirm it.


He grew up and attended public school in Spurger, Texas, and graduated high school in 1968.


After graduation, he enlisted in the United States Army and served in Vietnam.


After his dischargefrom the Army, Mr. Haralson returned to Tyler County and married the former Alice Dale Odom in 1971, also a graduate of Spurger High School. That same year he joined the Texas Department of Public Safety. He served as a Highway Patrol Trooper and a Motor Vehicle Theft Investigator and was promoted to the Texas Rangers in 1981. He was assigned to the Texas Rangers in Galveston County from 1981 until 2018.


In Joe and Alice Dale’s 53 years of marriage (and counting), their family has grown by leaps and bounds. They raised four sons and then soon added daughter-in-laws and now twelve grandchildren.


Family seems to be paramount to the life of Joe Haralson because he speaks fondly of his wife, children and grandchildren. He also has a love for the law. He says that his favorite part of his job is getting to be the one who stands as the opposition to those who choose to do bad things, which sounds very much like he considers it a privilege to be the protector or line of defense between citizens and those who intend to harm.


One memory that stands out in his long and distinguished career revolves around the events that unfolded during the siege outside of Waco, Texas, in 1993. Mr. Haralson recalled the intensity of the behind-the-scenes collaboration of all law enforcement agencies, and the desire of so many for a better outcome.


Mr. Haralson interviewed most of the adults and children who were allowed to leave the compound before the fire. He said that the attitudes and the thought processes of the adults were something he would never fully understand, and the children didn’t seem to have a true understanding of the situation.


Mr. Haralson was the last government official to be interviewed following the standoff between law enforcement and the Branch Davidians. His compassion for the children involved was so evident as he recounted the days spent on the outskirts of the compound near Waco.


Mr. Haralson has spent the better part of his life, some 56 years, serving and protecting others through his military service and law enforcement career. And he continues to serve the citizens of Texas today, as he has earned the honor of being the longest-serving Texas Ranger in the history of the great state of Texas.


In 2018 he and his wife moved back to Tyler County. “Alice Dale and I left good friends, sons, their wives, and grandchildren in Galveston and Harris County, but we are very happy to be back home in Tyler County.” What a legacy he has built through his devotion to the citizens of Texas, and what a blessing it is for Tyler County to have Mr. Haralson back home.

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