November 15, 2012

Yuma honors Veterans through parade, community

Story and photos by Lance Cpl. Zac Scanlon
Desert Warrior Staff
A car modeled to look like a train brings up the caboose of the Veterans Day Parade signifying the end of another annual parade in the city of Yuma, Ariz., Nov. 12. After the parade, veterans gathered at American Legion Post 19, in Yuma, for music, food and camaraderie.

Yuma hosted its annual Veterans Day parade on 4th avenue, Nov. 12.

Active-duty Marines from Marine Corps Air Station Yuma took part in the event, honoring those who have served before them.

MCAS Yuma’s base Color Guard and tactical vehicles from Marine Wing Support Squadron 371 paraded alongside other organizations, including the Boy Scouts of America, the Yuma Police Department and several different local clubs.

“We put together a parade to show that the citizens of Yuma recognize and appreciate what veterans have done and what the service members are doing now,” said Herschel Patterson, the Veterans Day parade chairman of American Legion Post 19, who hosted and organized the event.

The theme of this year’s parade was, “American Veterans: Remembering the Cost.”

Commanding Officers Col. Robert Kuckuk of MCAS Yuma and Col. Reed Young of the U.S. Army’s Yuma Proving Ground, acted as grand marshals, hallmarking both the U.S. Marine Corps’ and U.S. Army’s commitment to honoring though who serve in support of our country’s defense.

During the parade, onlookers viewed more than 100 different kinds of floats and bands from different sectors of the community, such as the Yuma Sheriff Department, grade school marching bands and various local businesses.

“Having so much support from the Yuma community gives the veterans an idea about how much we care about them,” said Patterson.

After the parade, Post 19 held a ceremony to further bring the community together to honor the U.S. Armed Forces. Veterans from different eras of the military, including Korea and Vietnam, imparted their stories to the audience over food and drink.

“Just like Marines like getting together and telling stories, so do the veterans who normally don’t get to see other veterans,” said Kuckuk. “Being able to tell stories and knowing that their are others out there who have been through the same thing means a lot to them.”

With another successful Veterans Day parade coming to an end, Yuma citizens once again proved their love and support for the military.

A child living in Yuma, Ariz. watches the Veterans Day Parade go on waiting to get some candy from the participants of the parade in the city of Yuma, Nov. 12. The parade’s theme this year was “American Veterans: Remembering the Cost”.

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