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PROFILES IN COURAGE: KTAR reports on Phoenix Veterans Day Parade Vietnam War Grand Marshal Carlyle Brown

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Our friends at KTAR are running a series of features on the eight Veteran Grand Marshals for the 2016 Phoenix Veterans Day Parade!

Click HERE for the first installment, where you’ll hear from one of our Vietnam War Grand Marshals, Carlyle Brown of Mesa, who ensures those who served are remembered.


We hope you will join us at the 20th Annual Phoenix Veterans Day Parade on November 11, 2016, to see Celebrity Grand Marshal Pete Hegseth and all eight Veteran Grand Marshals. This year’s parade theme is “Welcome Home Vietnam Heroes.” The parade typically boasts more than 100 entries, and this year will have a special float with nearly 20 Vietnam Veterans riding on it. The parade will also feature patriotic floats, high school marching bands, JROTC marching units, color guards, Veterans Service Organizations, animals, novelty units and much, much more.

For more information on the parade and the parade route, click HERE

2016-11-03T22:57:50-07:00

MEET OUR MARSHALS: Operation Iraqi Freedom Grand Marshal Jeremiah Gallegos

Jeremiah GallegosJeremiah Gallegos feels every generation seems to have its war, and he’s “honored and surprised” he was selected to represent his generation as the Veteran Grand Marshal for OIF. The Arizona native grew up around his late grandfather, Pete Villegas, who was a veteran of World War II, Korea and Vietnam, and instilled national pride in him, saying “everybody should serve their country at some point.”

Gallegos was nominated by his mother, Dolores Jackson, and his uncle Tim Schmidt, a veteran Air Force pilot.

Right after graduating from Agua Fria High School in 1999, Gallegos enlisted in the U.S. Army as a 19K M1 (Tank) Armor Crewman. He was assigned to the “Bonecrushers” troop of the 3rd Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment, and was part of the 500-vehicle convoy that rolled into Baghdad in March 2003.

Gallegos and two other sergeants ran through open fire to rescue a fellow soldier who was trapped in a burning tank with a jammed hatch. His mother says she was “flabbergasted” when she opened the April 7, 2003, edition of the Army Times. “The headline read: ‘EXCLUSIVE – Daring rescue from burning tank,’” she recalls. “I opened it and saw a picture of my son! I was thankful to God that he was well and helped save a fellow soldier, but afraid for him being in the middle of such a fierce battle.” Gallegos was presented the Bronze Star for heroic achievement in combat.

He also earned the Army Commendation, NATO Medal and Bosnia Service Ribbon for the peacekeeping mission and leading a tank crew in 2002.

Sergeant Gallegos honorably finished his enlistment in November 2003, and used his GI Bill to earn his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education at Arizona State University. “My nephew is one of the most sought after teachers in the Phoenix area,” says Schmidt. “Not only is he an accomplished teacher, but also a decorated warrior and great example to all the children he has influenced as a teacher.”

Gallegos was personally recruited to teach eighth-grade mathematics at Quentin Elementary in Avondale. “I like the challenges and fast-paced environment,” he admits. Since becoming a teacher in 2008, the Pledge of Allegiance has been a staple in his classroom, and Gallegos says he enjoys giving a personal account before each Veteran’s Day, where the students can ask questions.

He says he tells them that he wouldn’t be a teacher without having served in the military.  “When I went in, I didn’t know what I wanted to do. When I got out, I had direction, purpose and was able to properly accomplish goals.”

Gallegos adds, “I am happy to be given the opportunity to serve, and still be able to serve the next generation as a teacher.”

Gallegos lives in Goodyear, Arizona, with his wife Sandra, their son Orlando and daughter Xochitl.


We hope you will join us at the 20th Annual Phoenix Veterans Day Parade on November 11, 2016, to see Celebrity Grand Marshal Pete Hegseth and all eight Veteran Grand Marshals. This year’s parade theme is “Welcome Home Vietnam Heroes.” The parade typically boasts more than 100 entries, and this year will have a special float with nearly 20 Vietnam Veterans riding on it. The parade will also feature patriotic floats, high school marching bands, JROTC marching units, color guards, Veterans Service Organizations, animals, novelty units and much, much more.

For more information on the parade and the parade route, click HERE

2016-11-03T17:16:07-07:00

20 NOTABLE VETERANS DAY QUOTES

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Veterans Day 2016 is just around the corner! As the Phoenix Veterans Day Parade team puts the finishing touches on the plans for the 20th annual parade, we thought it would be prudent to take a look at some memorable words from some noteworthy individuals about veterans. Please enjoy them as you make plans to join us for the Phoenix Veterans Day Parade next Friday, November 11, to honor all veterans – past and present.

“This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.”
‒ Elmer Davis

“How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes!
‒ Maya Angelou

jfk“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”
 ‒ John Fitzgerald Kennedy

“My heroes are those who risk their lives every day to protect our world and make it a better place – police, firefighters, and member of our armed forces.”
‒ Sidney Sheldon

“Neither a wise man nor a brave man lies down on the tracks of history to wait for the train of the future to run over him.”
‒ Dwight D. Eisenhower

“I think there is one higher office than president and I would call that patriot.”
‒ Gary Hart

“Freedom is never free.”
 ‒ Author unknown

“America’s veterans have served their country with the belief that democracy and freedom are ideals to be upheld around the world.”
‒ John Doolittle

“The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave.”
‒ Patrick Henry

lincoln_rev“Honor to the soldier and sailor everywhere, who bravely bears his country’s cause. Honor, also, to the citizen who cares for his brother in the field and serves, as he best can, the same cause.”
‒ Abraham Lincoln

“Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are often stiffened.”
‒ Billy Graham

“The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive the Veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by their nation.”
‒ George Washington

“Americans should always honor our veterans. At this moment, we especially need the example of their character. And we need a new generation to set examples of its own, examples in service and sacrifice and courage. These veterans have shaped our history, and with their values, your generation will help guide our future.”
‒ George W. Bush

“The legacy of heroes is the memory of a great name and the inheritance of a great example.”
‒ Benjamin Disraeli

“It doesn’t take a hero to order men into battle. It takes a hero to be one of those men who goes into battle.”
‒ H. Norman Schwarzkopf

President Ronald Reagan“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.”
‒ Ronald Reagan

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”
‒ Nelson Mandela

“We few, we Band of Brothers. For he who sheds his blood with me shall be my brother.”
‒ William Shakespeare, “Henry V”

“In the beginning of a change, the patriot is a scarce man, and brave, and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot.”
‒ Mark Twain

“Valor is a gift. Those having it never know for sure whether they have it till the test comes. And those having it in one test never know for sure if they will have it when the next test comes.”
‒ Napolean Bonaparte


We hope you will join us at the 20th Annual Phoenix Veterans Day Parade on November 11, 2016, to see Celebrity Grand Marshal Pete Hegseth and all eight Veteran Grand Marshals. This year’s parade theme is “Welcome Home Vietnam Heroes.” The parade typically boasts more than 100 entries, and this year will have a special float with nearly 20 Vietnam Veterans riding on it. The parade will also feature patriotic floats, high school marching bands, JROTC marching units, color guards, Veterans Service Organizations, animals, novelty units and much, much more.

For more information on the parade and the parade route, click HERE

 

2016-11-02T23:05:54-07:00

MEET OUR MARSHALS: Operation Enduring Freedom Grand Marshal Jay Darby

Operating Enduring Freedom Grand Marshal Jay Darby

Operating Enduring Freedom Grand Marshal Jay Darby

For Jay Darby, a self-proclaimed “rebellious teenager,” the Army represented a chance to straighten his life out. Enlisting at 17, Darby evidently did much more than just that, as the next 33-1/2 years of his life was dedicated to serving his country, earning him numerous awards that included a Bronze Star and a Meritorious Service Medal.

Darby felt his biggest challenge in the military was moving up through the ranks. “When I was promoted to sergeant in 1983,” he says, “I was the youngest sergeant in my battalion, so I was giving orders to people who were older than me – that was a bit of a challenge.” Darby also learned, as he now tells others considering joining the military, that the needs of the many outweighs the needs of the one. “Any branch of the service will give you as much as you can handle,” he points out, “but there’s a lot of responsibility, and you have to be ready for that. It’s not just a job – it’s a lifestyle.”

Initially in the infantry, Darby was then transferred over to the medical services, and was even in transportation for a while. During Desert Storm, he was in Germany as a Department of Defense civilian, and was part of the first group of soldiers that formed a reserve unit over there. His job: going back and forth between Germany and Saudi Arabia, delivering and setting up secure communications equipment.

He spent 12 months in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom, as part of the surge. He was assigned to Multi-National Security Transition Command – Iraq (MNSTC-I), and was the senior enlisted advisor, coaching, training and mentoring the Iraqi Army in medical affairs, as well as combat convoy operations and combat air operations. “I moved around a lot in Iraq,” he recalls. “I was on a lot of different outposts, Iraqi bases. That was very intense.”

In May 2010, Darby supported Operation Enduring Freedom as one of the First Sergeants at the Wounded Warrior Transition Battalion in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. His main goal was assisting wounded, ill and injured soldiers focus on their recovery, rehabilitation and reintegration into civilian life or continued military service.

He cites his most rewarding time with the Army as being a senior instructor/writer for the medical field – he taught the 91 Whiskey/68 Whiskey medical MOS for the past 14 years. “I was very fortunate,” he says. “I never graduated high school, but the Army paid for my associate’s and bachelor’s degrees. I had a lot of mentors – I can still remember their names today. I was given a lot of opportunities. I made some mistakes and was given second chances. I was fortunate that I had the opportunity to turn around and hopefully be a mentor to others.”

Darby, who now works with the Arizona Department of Corrections as Correctional Lieutenant Swing Shift Commander at the Lewis complex, was “taken aback” by his nomination as a Grand Marshal. “It was very unexpected, and it’s an extreme honor,” he says humbly. “There are probably hundreds of other individuals who have done more.”


We hope you will join us at the 20th Annual Phoenix Veterans Day Parade on November 11, 2016, to see Celebrity Grand Marshal Pete Hegseth and all eight Veteran Grand Marshals. This year’s parade theme is “Welcome Home Vietnam Heroes.” The parade typically boasts more than 100 entries, and this year will have a special float with nearly 20 Vietnam Veterans riding on it. The parade will also feature patriotic floats, high school marching bands, JROTC marching units, color guards, Veterans Service Organizations, animals, novelty units and much, much more.

For more information on the parade and the parade route, click HERE

2016-11-01T21:49:57-07:00