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HOW YOU CAN HELP ON VETERANS DAY (AND THE REST OF THE YEAR)

Veterans are naturally on our minds at this time of year, particularly with the annual Phoenix Veterans Day Parade right around the corner.

If you have it in your heart to help and honor our veterans, now or at any time of the year, there are many ways you can do that.

Parade Volunteer Coordinator Brian Ishmael

The Phoenix Veteran’s Day Parade (PhoenixVeteransDayParade.org) is scheduled for Saturday, November 11, from 11 a.m. until approximately 1 p.m. in downtown Phoenix. The entire operation relies solely on volunteers and is a great way to honor veterans. This year leading the volunteer effort is the University of Phoenix.  Volunteer Coordinator Brian Ishmael, who serves as Senior Director of Military and Veterans Affairs at University of Phoenix, has been busy managing and developing position descriptions, recruiting volunteers from various organizations and businesses and attending parade team meetings in person.  The parade will need about 300 volunteers to assist in several functions, so he’s asked his colleague Jessica Hutson to help.  Jessica is busy gathering names, emails and phone numbers of volunteers to fill the slots.  If you’re just now seeing this and want to help, it’s not too late to reach out to her; just email jessica.hutson@phoenix.edu.

Another way to help is by volunteering with or donating to Honoring America’s’s Veterans (HAV), the organization presenting the annual Phoenix Veterans Day Parade. The HAV was formed to help Arizona’s veterans heal and reintegrate through recognition events and other programs that support the mission.

Of course, you can always say “thank you.” It is simple but makes an impact. Many veterans never heard those words. If you know a veteran or see someone in a military uniform, express your gratitude.  It may make his or her day – and yours.

Here are some other ways you could help a veteran:

  • Offer your home repair skills to a veteran or military family in need.
  • Volunteer your financial, legal, or career expertise via MilServe.
  • Deliver a meal or care packages to veterans – or donate clothing, household items, vehicles and much-needed funs – through certified organizations such as the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) or Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA).
  • Help a veteran tell their story through a project such as the Veteran’s History Project. (You can download a VHP field kit from the Library of Congress website.)
  • Volunteers with an organization that provides therapy dogs to veterans, such as Canine Companions for Independence.
  • Support the Disabled American Veterans (DAV), which provides free transportation to men and women unable to travel to VA medical facilities on their own.
  • Send a letter or care package through Operation Gratitude, which serves both current military members as well as veterans. It has a letter-writing campaign encouraging everyone to write handwritten letters of gratitude to veterans.
  • The Honor Flight Network helps veterans of the “greatest generation” make a free pilgrimage to the World War II Memorial on the National Mall in Washington. You can volunteer to escort these men and women on the flight. The program also helps terminally ill veterans who served in any conflict visit memorials to those wars in Washington as well.
  • Hire a veteran! Several organizations match employers with qualified veterans. The S. Department of Labor’s website is one example, and the nonprofit Hire Heroes USA offers opportunities for people to donate, volunteer or host a fundraiser.

Did you know that an estimated 40,000 veterans go homeless on any given night in the U.S.? That is according to a report from the National Alliance to End Homelessness, and that number does not include the 1.4 million or so vets who are at risk of homelessness, according to the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans.

You can help those heroes get back on their feet by volunteering, donating or even hiring a veteran. Sign up through the Department of Veterans Affairs Voluntary Service page. Shelters are always in need of personal care items and clothing. To locate a service organization near you, refer to the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans’ website, which provides an interactive map of local shelters and community centers. You can also call 1-800-VET-HELP. (You can refer to websites like Charity Watch and Charity Navigator for ratings on organizations’ contributions and expenses.)


If you are a veteran in need of help or if you are homeless or at imminent risk of becoming homeless – contact either the VA medical center or Community Resource and Referral Center. You can also call 1-877-4AID-VET (1-877-424-3838).

2017-11-03T18:20:51-07:00

“M*A*S*H” TV Star Loretta Swit to serve as Celebrity Grand Marshal for Phoenix Veteran’s Day Parade on Sat. Nov. 11 at 11 a.m.

Who: Loretta Swit, TV Star, Big Screen Star, Broadway Star
What: To serve as Celebrity Grand Marshal in Phoenix Veterans Day Parade
When: Saturday, November 11th at 11 a.m.
Place: Parade staging, NE Corner of Montebello and Central

Few actresses can capture the imagination of generations of audiences with the certainty and charm of Loretta Swit. As quick-witted, impassioned Major Margaret Houlihan of television’s most honored series, “M*A*S*H,” Swit became an American icon and, with its popularity now in worldwide syndication, new fans continue to enjoy her lavish portrayal of the sensuous, sensitive, comedic Major Houlihan.

She is so moved by the military and veterans she supports them to this day and recently narrated the film “Never the Same: The Prisoner of War Experience,” in support of the American Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor Memorial Society.

Swit has been honored with such recognition as the People’s Choice Award, The Genie Award, The Silver Satellite Award, The Jean Golden Halo Award, the Pacific Broadcasters Award, two Emmy Awards, 10 Emmy nominations and eight nominations for the Golden Globe Award.

Her television career boasts over 25 movies, including the original “Cagney and Lacey,” in which she created the role of Chris Cagney, with contractual obligations to “M*A *S*H” preventing her from shooting the series. Other memorable TV films are “Games Mother Never Taught You,” “Hell Hath No Fury,” “The Kid from Nowhere,” “Mirror, Mirror,” “The Execution,” “Dreams of Gold,” “Valentine” and “A Killer Among Friends.”

Most recently on the stage, she was “Eleanor Roosevelt” in sellout runs in Los Angeles and Chicago. A highlight was meeting Eleanor’s granddaughter at a Meet and Greet. This show and “Me and Jezebel” continue to appear on her calendar.

Her wildlife series, “Those Incredible Animals,” was shown twice weekly on the Discovery Channel for an amazing five-year run, and later viewed on Animal Planet airing in over 30 countries. Ms. Swit is as impassioned about animals as she is the theatre and is regarded as a leader in the Humane Environment. The proceeds from her recent book, “SWITHEART” (www.switheart.com) support the Animal Alliance Foundation, ending cruelty for all animals and she has a second book in the works. She has been named Woman of the Year by both the Animal Protection Institute and the International Fund for Animal Welfare.

2017-11-01T22:50:56-07:00

Cold War Veterans Focus of the 2017 Phoenix Veterans Day Parade

Parade Celebrates 21 Years with Theme “Silent Sacrifice”

Glowing with tributes to our nation’s true heroes, our veterans, the Phoenix Veterans Day Parade will once again be presented by Honoring America’s’s Veterans (HAV).

Time: LIVE Shots available from 5:30 to 9 a.m.

Time: Parade start 11 a.m., open to media

Date: Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017

Place: Central and Montebello, south on Central, east on Camelback, and south on 7th Street to Indian School Road

This year’s parade theme is “SILENT SACRIFICE: Honoring Our Cold War Veterans.” The parade has nearly 100 entries, and this year will have a special float with nearly 20 Cold War Veterans riding on it. The parade will also feature:

  • 14 Floats
  • 12 Marching Units
  • 7 Color Guards
  • 8 novelty units
  • 5 bands
  • Four large helium balloons, including Uncle Sam, the Bald Eagle, the Purple Heart and – new this year – the military service and HAV balloon.
  • Dozens of military vehicles
  • We’ll also have animal entries, and much, much more.

MEDIA PLEASE NOTE: Live shot availability will begin at 5:30 a.m. Several entries will be available throughout the morning, including:

  • Arizona Public Service Float
  • Department of Corrections Float
  • POW/MIA/KIA Honor Guard
  • Arizona Twirlers
  • Specialty vehicles

Now in its 21st year, the parade is one of the premier Veterans Day events in the nation, with tens of thousands of spectators. Several streets will be closed to make way for the Parade.

“I’ve been working with the parade team for five years now, and it’s still amazing to me to see how it helps our veterans heal. The men and women who serve in our military face many unique challenges, and when they return they are a source of pride for us. We can never repay them for their service and sacrifice, so having an event, like this, shows the gratitude we have as a community for them. That in turn helps us to honor them and that’s why Honoring America’s’s Veterans puts on this event,” said Aaron Dudney, HAV president.

Celebrity Grand Marshal Loretta Swit

This year’s Parade Grand Marshals include:

  • Celebrity Grand Marshal Loretta Swit (Emmy Award-winning actress best known for “M*A*S*H,” animal activist, artist, veteran supporter)
  • Harold Bergbower, World War II (former Prisoner of War)
  • Melvin Brody, Korean War
  • Larry Leighton, Vietnam War (Purple Heart recipient)
  • Bernard O’Keefe, Cold War (8-time recipient of Meritorious Service Medal)
  • John Scott, Desert Storm (Retired Major General, Bronze Star recipient)
  • Raul Sanchez, Operation Enduring Freedom
  • Richard Arnold, Operation Iraqi Freedom
  • Carol Culbertson, Veteran Community
  • Alan Powell “AP,” HeroZona
  • Craig Opel, Business Community
  • Katie Schaaf, Arizona Pageant Queen

The parade will also feature the three Durant’s essay winners, who will ride in the “Hall of Flame” fire truck:

  • 1st place: Ethan Brown, 11th grade, Seton Catholic Preparatory High School
  • 2nd place: Ruby Price, 11th grade, Shadow Ridge High School
  • 3rd place: Craig Zeigler, 12th grade, Sunrise Mountain High School

Each writer shared a different perspective for this year’s theme “SILENT SACRIFICE: Honoring Our Cold War Veterans.”

For the fifth year in a row Durant’s fine dining restaurant in Phoenix has provided cash awards for the essay contest winners: $500 for first place, $250 for second place and $100 for third place. In addition, the teacher for each of the students will receive a $150 gift card to use in his or her classroom.

The University of Phoenix and TriWest Healthcare Alliance hold the top spots for sponsorship of this event and have veteran and civilian employees in the parade.

The Stearman Group – World War II bi-planes led by Roger Parrish and Fred Gorrell – followed by Joe Sottile, Kurt Gearhart and Billie Walker, will once again officially start the parade with their flyover.

2017-11-01T22:45:46-07:00

Cold War Veterans Focus of the 2017 Phoenix Veterans Day Parade

Parade Celebrates 21 Years with Theme “Silent Sacrifice”

 

 

 

Glowing with tributes to our nation’s true heroes, our veterans, the Phoenix Veterans Day Parade will once again be presented by Honoring America’s’s Veterans (HAV).

Time:  LIVE Shots available from 5:30 to 9 a.m.

Time:  Parade start 11 a.m., open to media

Date:  Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017

Place:  Central and Montebello, south on Central, east on Camelback, and south on 7th Street to Indian School Road

This year’s parade theme is “SILENT SACRIFICE: Honoring Our Cold War Veterans.” The parade has nearly 100 entries, and this year will have a special float with nearly 20 Cold War Veterans riding on it. The parade will also feature:

  • 14 Floats
  • 12 Marching Units
  • 7 Color Guards
  • 8 novelty units
  • 5 bands
  • Four large helium balloons, including Uncle Sam, the Bald Eagle, the Purple Heart and – new this year – the military service and HAV balloon.
  • Dozens of military vehicles
  • We’ll also have animal entries, and much, much more.

MEDIA PLEASE NOTE:  Live shot availability will begin at 5:30 a.m. Several entries will be available throughout the morning, including:

  • Arizona Public Service Float
  • Department of Corrections Float
  • POW/MIA/KIA Honor Guard
  • Arizona Twirlers
  • Specialty vehicles

Now in its 21st year, the parade is one of the premier Veterans Day events in the nation, with tens of thousands of spectators. Several streets will be closed to make way for the Parade.

“I’ve been working with the parade team for five years now, and it’s still amazing to me to see how it helps our veterans heal. The men and women who serve in our military face many unique challenges, and when they return they are a source of pride for us. We can never repay them for their service and sacrifice, so having an event, like this, shows the gratitude we have as a community for them. That in turn helps us to honor them and that’s why Honoring America’s’s Veterans puts on this event,” said Aaron Dudney, HAV president.

Celebrity Grand Marshal Loretta Swit

This year’s Parade Grand Marshals include:

  • Celebrity Grand Marshal Loretta Swit (Emmy Award-winning actress best known for “M*A*S*H,” animal activist, artist, veteran supporter)
  • Harold Bergbower, World War II (former Prisoner of War)
  • Melvin Brody, Korean War
  • Larry Leighton, Vietnam War (Purple Heart recipient)
  • Bernard O’Keefe, Cold War (8-time recipient of Meritorious Service Medal)
  • John Scott, Desert Storm (Retired Major General, Bronze Star recipient)
  • Raul Sanchez, Operation Enduring Freedom
  • Richard Arnold, Operation Iraqi Freedom
  • Carol Culbertson, Veteran Community
  • Alan Powell “AP,” HeroZona
  • Craig Opel, Business Community
  • Katie Schaaf, Arizona Pageant Queen

The parade will also feature the three Durant’s essay winners, who will ride in the “Hall of Flame” fire truck:

  • 1st place: Ethan Brown, 11th grade, Seton Catholic Preparatory High School
  • 2nd place: Ruby Price, 11th grade, Shadow Ridge High School
  • 3rd place: Craig Zeigler, 12th grade, Sunrise Mountain High School

Each writer shared a different perspective for this year’s theme “SILENT SACRIFICE: Honoring Our Cold War Veterans.”

For the fifth year in a row Durant’s fine dining restaurant in Phoenix has provided cash awards for the essay contest winners: $500 for first place, $250 for second place and $100 for third place. In addition, the teacher for each of the students will receive a $150 gift card to use in his or her classroom.

The University of Phoenix and TriWest Healthcare Alliance hold the top spots for sponsorship of this event and have veteran and civilian employees in the parade.

The Stearman Group – World War II bi-planes led by Roger Parrish and Fred Gorrell – followed by Joe Sottile, Kurt Gearhart and Billie Walker, will once again officially start the parade with their flyover.

2017-11-01T20:13:26-07:00