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By Staff Reports
Veterans Day saw crowds lining parade routes across the Silver State. In Reno, women veterans along with volunteers from the Nevada Department of Veterans Services served as emcees along the parade route for the event. This year marked the 100th Anniversary of the end of World War I. The City of Reno marked the occasion by remembering and honoring U.S. Army Private Darrell Dunkle. He was the first resident of Reno to sacrifice his life in combat during “The Great War.”
Veteran Charley Smith assisted in providing information for the parade script. She also helped perform emcee duties along with NDVS Deputy Director Wendy Simons, her assistant, Air Force veteran Sandi TenBoer, and Kim Donahue, who oversees NDVS veteran suicide prevention and homelessness programming.
The air was chilly but that did not put a damper on enthusiasm or participation as hundreds lined the streets and cheered along the parade route.
The scene was very similar in Las Vegas, despite strong, chilly winds! Las Vegas contributor Chuck Baker described the scene as an “eye-popping feast of visual delights” that lighted up the downtown area, even though the parade occurred in broad daylight.
Baker describes, “Floats, decorated trucks, buses and automobiles, horses, marching bands, ROTC members, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, men and women in military uniforms representing vintage and current conflicts and a plethora of American flags flapping boldly in the November winds. It all added up to another show of love from the citizens to its veterans and active-duty military. Thousands of on-lookers lined both sides of the street to watch and pay tribute to those who served the nation in the military or in other capacities that help the city and State.”
NDVS Women’s Veterans Coordinator Janel Gibson helped assemble a group of women veterans to wave and ride in a truck draped with NDVS signs.
While American military units are a part of the Department of Defense, at least one group comes under the heading of Homeland Security — the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary. Flotillas 95 and 96 joined together and towed a patrol boat complete with flags, banners and other official safety equipment. Also a part of its entry was Coastie, a child-size vessel robotically controlled by a human handler who provided a voice delighting children along the parade route.
Officially organized by the Veterans Action Group, the 102 entries in the parade marched proudly under sunny skies and crisp November temperatures. Heading the Action Group this year was Jerry Adams, 68, a Navy veteran. He said the parade is a wonderful opportunity to teach younger generations about respect for those who served in the military. It’s also a history lesson for children and for adults as well.