2013 Phoenix Veterans Day Parade Grand Marshals

wwIIJack Mosley
World War II Veteran Grand Marshal
U.S. Air Force

At the age of 15 Jack Mosley signed up for the Army Air Corps. He became a tail gunner in B17, B24, B26, and B29’s and later in B52’s. He was shot down twice, crash landed three times.

But perhaps his greatest accomplishment is the day he saved his entire crew. Mosley says, “After the D-Day Invasion, we were stuck with bombs that were hung up. I knew we had to do something so I manually disengaged them by hand with a screw driver.”

He escaped alive but due to other injuries he has no right cheek and is missing part of his right thigh due to shrapnel injuries while being shot at as a tail gunner.

Mosley says he had two goals with his military service, first to join the military and second to stay alive.

He was nominated in the KTAR Honor our Heroes Marshals campaign by his daughter Kerrye Mosley.

She says, “My greatest wish is that my dad is recognized before he passes. He is 87 years old and he is not in best of health. You can find him on the internet by his name Jack Mosley WWII Veteran, or by his favorite plane he flew on which is called Barneys Buzz Wagon.”

Kerrye Mosley asked us to please consider him because he is and always will be her military hero. “He is someone who came from a dirt poor background and made something of himself through his service to our country,” she says.

Mosley served for 22 years in the US Air Force and thanks to that service he has the Distinguished Flying Cross, a Purple Heart medal, the Silver Star, 11 Air Medals and many more.

Jack Mosley says he is excited and much honored to be serving as the World War II Veteran Grand Marshal in the Phoenix Veterans Day Parade.

“I think it is important to honor our Veterans because we put our life on the line for our country,” he added.

Jack Mosley is a resident of Scottsdale, AZ.

Mary Ellen Kenworthey
Cold War
Veteran Grand Marshal
U.S. Air Force

As a Registered Nurse, wife, mother and Nurse Practitioner, Mary Ellen Kenworthey has and continues to serve her country caring for women and the families that love them.

“Since high school I had wanted to be a nurse in the Air Force. While I worked as a nursing aide I met nurses, and the best ones had been in the military. By joining the service, I hoped to get experience in a major medical center and to continue my education, as well as travel while serving my country,” says Kenworthey.

After her successful three year service tour in the U.S. Air Force where she obtained the rank of Captain, she now cares for women at Mountain Park Health Center in Phoenix Arizona. In her work as a Nurse Practitioner, she diagnoses, treats and refers hundreds of women to get optimal care at this Federally Qualified Health Center. She offers extended hours including Evenings and Saturdays to allow for improved service access. Her warmth and competence are recognized by all.

Kathleen Sebelius, who has served as the Secretary of Health and Human Services visited this Mountain Park Health Center recently during her last visit to Arizona to witness the work being done.

Nurse Kenworthey’s dedication in Obstetrics and Gynecology not only impacts her patients, but their families as well.

According to her fellow Nurse Practitioner Joann Woodward who nominated her says “Mary Ellen is an excellent example of a woman serving her country who deserves to be a Grand Marshall in this year’s Veteran’s Day parade.”

Kenworthey says she is humbled to serve as a Grand Marshal. “I am truly honored to be selected to represent the men and women who served in the military from 1945-1991. My Dad (a Marine) served stateside in 1945 (to 1955), my uncle Joe was a U.S. Army and Air Force combat pilot during World War II, and my uncle Mike, was a Marine combat Veteran in the Korean War.”

“I think it is important to honor our Veterans as they make sacrifices and work hard to defend and protect the best of the American way of life for all of us to enjoy,” she added.

Kenworthey resides in Central Phoenix.

kwKenneth Jordan
Korean War Veteran Grand Marshal
U.S. Army

Kenneth Jordan was determined to serve in the military, so much so that he doctored his birth certificate and tried to enlist at the age of 12 in the U.S. Marine Corps.

The recruiter thought he looked too young, so he rebuffed the request. Although somewhat disheartened he waited two more years for the age of 14 before enlisting in the U.S. Army. After basic training he was assigned to the Infantry in occupation of Japan, when the Korean War broke out. At this time the Army occupation mission shifted, Jordan was discovered as too young to serve and his mother had been working diligently to have him discharged. Jordan desperately wanted to remain with his buddies, but the Army discharged at the age of 16 and he was awarded the Combat Infantry Badge.

His military intentions never quit. He re-enlisted at the legal age volunteering to replace a Buddy who had just gotten married and was alerted with orders to Korea. This time his journey earned him a spot as a forward observer for the Korean War. He was awarded his second Combat Infantry Badge. He served for more than 25 years in the Army with tours in Okinawa, Germany, Turkey, Chile, as well as Japan, Korea, and Vietnam. He has been awarded the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart, the second Combat Infantry Badge, numerous citations and awards.

Jordan was nominated by his wife Linda in the KTAR Honor our Heroes Marshals campaign. Her husband says “This is an honor that I never thought would happen to this man.”

He is excited to be a Veterans Grand Marshal and says it is important to honor our Veterans. “Never, ever should we forget them from Bunker Hill to present day and beyond, until God Almighty puts an end to wars and conflicts. I have known many Veterans over the years with stories of bravery and charity. Being a Veteran is a lot more than engaging in war, and the story of our Veterans is a story that should be told.”

Kenneth and his wife Linda reside in Wickenburg.

vwColonel Gobel James
Vietnam War Veteran Grand Marshal
Ex-Prisoner of War
U.S. Air Force

Gobel James was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant and awarded his pilot wings in 1952. After serving 4 years on active duty, he joined the Colorado Air Nation Guard and attended the University of Colorado. While in the Guard, he served for two years on the “Minute Men”, the Precision Demonstration Team for the Air National Guard of the United States, flying the F-86 Sabre Jet. He was later recalled to active duty.

In 1968, he was shot down over North Vietnam and became a Prisoner of War (POW) for 1,703 days. His citation for the Legion of Merit Award reads as follows: “His ceaseless efforts, by a continuous showing of resistance to an enemy who ignored all international agreements on treatment of Prisoners of War, in the extremely adverse conditions of the communist prisons of North Vietnam, demonstrated his professional competence, unwavering devotion, and loyalty to his country. Despite the harsh treatment through his long years of incarceration, he continued to perform his duties in a clearly exceptional manner which reflected great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.” He has also received the Distinguished Flying Cross, Prisoner of War Medal, and numerous other medals and awards.

Following his release from prison in 1973, he remained on active duty for another 11 years. His final assignment was as Base Commander at Mather Air Force Base in Sacramento, CA.

James says the most memorable experience of his service was meeting his family on the ramp at March Air Force Base, California, upon returning from 56 months as a Prisoner of War in North Vietnam.

When asked why he thinks it is important to honor our Veterans, James explains it this way. “Most veterans underwent difficult sacrifices during their tours of duty, sacrifices that impacted them and their families. Many suffer from disabling and permanent disabilities caused by combat or accidents. Others suffer emotional effects caused by the extreme circumstances of combat. Whether in combat or support roles, in wartime or peacetime, the Veterans, both past and present, are responsible for the security and freedoms that we Americans enjoy. Simply put, if we had no veterans, there would be no United States of America.”

Gobel resides in Scottsdale.

dswJuan & Christine Martinez
Desert Storm
Veteran Grand Marshals
U.S. Navy

Juan and Christine Martinez are Navy Veterans who served during Operation Desert Storm. Nominator Anita Yates said, “Christine is my sister and Juan is her husband. Their children were stateside with family while they served overseas. They have stayed involved with the service by way of funeral duty and the Returning Warriors Program. I know they both would be truly honored to be and share in being Grand Marshal this Veterans Day.” And the second nominator Rick Place, their cousin and Army Veteran said, “Please consider Juan and Christine Martinez both for your Grand Marshall’s. They will make Arizona and the people of Arizona proud.”

They were right. “I am amazed and incredibly humbled to be a Veterans Grand Marshal in the Phoenix Veterans Day Parade,” says Christine. “I’ll take this opportunity to honor and represent all of our Sailors, and the sacrifices they and their families have made.”

On his selection Juan says, “I think it’s a blessing and an honor to be selected as a Veterans Grand Marshal, because I believe there are many other great men and women who deserve to be recognized for their service and their leadership roles too.

Both of these Navy Veterans, who have one of the toughest jobs onboard ships as Boatswain’s Mates, know their Navy time is all about service.

“The country is built around those who serve were in the military. Only one percent of US adults serve or have served in the military, so that is a lot of weight to carry. They miss their families and friends, and so many special days and Holidays; that’s just what they do in service to our Nation. Some men and women even pay the ultimate sacrifice, and we should always be grateful to them, as well as those who have stood or continue to stand the watch at home and abroad,” says Juan.

“Veterans are the backbone of our Nation. They’re the ones who answered the call, sometimes rushing into harmÕs way as others turned away. They stood watches every hour of every day – regardless of whether it was a weekend or Holiday or birthday. The Veterans protected the rights and security that many people take for granted. Since every day canÕt be Veteran’s Day, it’s important to raise them up this day, and remember,” says Christine.

Juan and Christine are residents of Chandler and together have served 46 years of military service to our country.

oefLuis Narvais III
Operation Enduring Freedom
Veteran Grand Marshal
U.S. Marine Corps

The attacks of Sept. 11 triggered Narvais to join the military so he could make a difference. He hoped to gain travel, experiences and growth for a successful life. Little did he know it was a trip to war, but he was ready to face the devil himself since he felt the end result would be experience and success.

His time as a Marine gave him several memorable moments. “I remember being able to talk about missions around a fire in the middle of Iraq or Afghanistan, and saying that was crazy close and being around long enough to tell our story. But perhaps the most memorable experiences are the times I was called to retrieve a helicopter out of a kill zone and recovering two blown up vehicles in front of me and realizing the guy that was driving the vehicle was my Platoon Honor Grad from boot camp. There were several moments to never forget.”

He says the Marine Corps gave him great experiences and family growth. “The time you spent with the person to the left and right of you on and off the plane became the best experiences of my life and those individuals are now part of my life forever. The family bond that you gain is such a great experience in itself, one that will never be lost or taken from you.”

Narvais was nominated to be a Grand Marshal by his father who is extremely proud of his son’s service. “I spoke to his recruiter at length and mentioned to my son that there was a war going on. He knew exactly what he was getting in to, that he might be put in harm’s way. But he never flinched and said he needed to go. We never anticipated he would be deployed five times, two in Afghanistan and three in Iraq. We were worried sick and afraid and prayed every day for his safe return, for the safe return of all of our men and women. We are so proud of what he has done for his country and are very grateful that he has come home safe and sound, despite some close calls. Luis is a great, loving father and husband, a wonderful brother, a funny uncle, a good friend, a great son and one awesome squared away Marine. Semper Fi,” says Luis Narvais II.

The selection as Parade Grand Marshal was a tearjerker for Narvais III. “This will be the first time I have been able to be home for the event and to be part of it; this is going to be even more special to my family and friends. I am proud to serve for all our Veterans. OOHRAH and Semper Fi. Luis Narvais III lives in Glendale.

oifBrian Mancini
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Veteran Grand Marshal
U.S. Army

Brian Mancini was nominated to be a Veteran Grand Marshal by his sister Nicole. Here is her story… My brother SFC (Retired) Brian Mancini served two tours in Iraq in which he received two Purple Hearts.

On July 23, 2007 in the middle of his second tour, Brian was severely wounded. His Humvee was hit by an Explosively Formed Projectile or what we all now call EFP. Brian took much of the blow to his face, losing his right eye, and shattering his pallet. His face and body were peppered by shrapnel and he suffered from 3rd degree burns. He had also sustained severe Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).

Brian died twice that day, but his fellow combat medics brought him back to life. After spending nearly 4 years at Walter Reed hospital, enduring intense rehab, countless surgeries, and the painful end to a new marriage that just couldn’t survive the immense amount of stress, Brian chose to get better not bitter. He knew that his life had been spared for a reason, that he was here to serve a purpose and he was certain that God had a plan for him.

So he started a not for profit organization called “The Honor House”. It will serve as transitional housing for America’s Wounded Warrior’s. It will provide housing, mentoring, counseling, therapeutic recreation, and many additional resources that a transitioning Veteran will need.

Brian is determined to make a positive difference in the lives of our Wounded Warriors. With his passion for humanity, his compassionate heart, and his love for this country he would be a great Grand Marshall.

Please consider my brother who not only should be honored for his heroism in combat but also for his continuing commitment to this country and helping our Veterans!

Brian Mancini lives in Surprise.