MEET OUR MARSHALS: Desert Storm Grand Marshal John Scott

Desert Storm Grand Marshal John Scott

“You’d be surprised what an impact you can make, helping one veteran at a time.” Retired Major General John Scott assists disabled warriors in adaptive sports programs, and is active with Crosiers youth and veteran outreach missions. “Sometimes they just need a hand around their shoulder, and being told they’re loved.”

Scott gave nearly four decades to the United States Army and Reserve. It started with ROTC at Florida State University, where he earned a Bachelor’s in History, and a commission in 1968. He served in Vietnam, the Cold War, Desert Storm, and wrapped up his final tour at the Pentagon in 2003 after being recalled to active duty for two years, just days after the 9/11 attacks. His decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal, Bronze Star, Legion of Merit, Air Medal, Combat Infantryman’s Badge, Parachute Badges, and Ranger Tab.

After retirement, Scott used his G.I. Bill to earn a Master’s Degree from FSU, and completed his studies for the Diaconate in the Roman Catholic Church. His first encounter with a Catholic Chaplain wasn’t what you’d expect. “He dropped into the foxhole, and asked how we were doing. I asked how the [heck] do you think I’m doing? I’m in a foxhole in Vietnam!”

Scott noted, though, chaplains were always there to lend a caring ear, or a hand, as well as to help each other out. “Military Chaplains – of all faiths – are precious to me.” He himself is now Chaplain for the Arizona Veterans Hall of Fame.

Scott’s love for God and Country increased though world travel. “There are cemeteries with Americans everywhere, and the flag is flown near those graves because U.S service members responded when others were in need.”

While stationed in Hungary, a man expressed gratitude when he saw Scott’s American flag flying, telling him, “We love America. During our revolution in 1956, Americans tried to support it.” Scott added, “To me, the flag symbolizes what’s best about our country. I am always proud to be an American.”

In Germany, his appreciation for self-giving grew even more. “Every man from 18 years gives two years’ service to their country, whether it’s in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Red Cross, or by working in a hospital.  The whole idea is service. I think the word ‘citizen’ means more when you serve.”

Scott’s father was an Army infantry soldier during WWII, and his son Robert was an Army paratrooper. His daughter Katie is in social work, getting needs met for our seniors – challenging, but necessary work.  “She’s as much a soldier as I am.”

Jon Altmann nominated his good friend: “He is a dedicated Deacon, and you would never guess he served as a general officer. He’s a patriot with deep faith and great humility, who continues to give back to others.” Scott believes, “Jesus told us to be servant leaders. I’m going to try to do that to my last breath.”

In addition to their three children – Katie, Robert and Sang – Scott and his wife of 49 years, Mary Alice, have seven grandchildren.

We hope you will join us at the 21st Annual Phoenix Veterans Day Parade on November 11, 2017, to see all our Veteran Grand Marshals. This year’s parade theme is “SILENT SACRIFICE: Honoring Our Cold War Veterans.” 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.