Veterans representing each war time era will participate and be recognized during the Annual San Fernando Valley Veterans Day Parade that will march through the streets of Mission Hills and Pacoima on Tuesday, Nov. 11.
Thousands of people, waving American flags and holding up handmade signs of appreciation, line the parade route each year.
The parade begins precisely at the eleventh minute of the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. The number is particularly special for this 11th parade. It begins at the corner of Laurel Canyon and San Fernando Mission boulevards in Mission Hills, and proceeds south on Laurel Canyon Boulevard for 1.1 miles. The parade will end at the corner of Laurel Canyon Boulevard and Paxton Street.
At 11:25 a.m., a squadron of WWII era Condors planes from Van Nuys Airbase will decorate the sky. These vintage AT-6 Texan aircraft, used in WWII training missions, will fly in formation above the parade route.
Actor, businessman, and retired Marine Corps Capt. Dale Adam Dye will serve as the 2014 Grand Marshal for the parade.
Dye — who served for twenty-one years in war and peace — is a distinguished graduate of Missouri Military Academy who enlisted in the United States Marine Corps shortly after graduation in 1964. He served in Vietnam in 1965 and 1967 through 1970, surviving 31 major combat operations.
Appointed a Warrant Officer in 1976, he later converted his commission and was a captain when deployed to Beirut, Lebanon with the Multinational Force in 1982-83. Dye served in a variety of assignments around the world and along the way attained a degree in English Literature from the University of Maryland.
Following retirement from active duty in 1984, he spent time in Central America, reporting and training troops for guerrilla warfare in El Salvador, Honduras and Costa Rica.
Upset with Hollywood’s treatment of the American military, he went to Hollywood and established Warriors Inc., the pre-eminent military training and advisory service to the entertainment industry. Dye has worked on more than fifty movies and TV shows, including several Academy Award and Emmy winning productions. He is currently a novelist, actor, director and show business innovator who wanders between Los Angeles and Lockhart, Texas.
The parade will include more than 100 veterans groups. Since the inaugural parade in 2004, only Veterans, Marines, Soldiers, Sailors, Air Force and Coast Guard personnel ride in the parade. High school bands, ROTC units and the Naval Sea Cadets are also allowed to participate.
This year’s participants include the Arleta, Bravo, Beverly Hills, Chatsworth Charter, San Fernando, Van Nuys high schools’ and Vaughn International Studies Academy marching bands. There will also be ROTC units from El Camino Real Charter, James Monroe, Grover Cleveland Charter, Hawthorne, Reseda, Van Nuys, West Adams Prep, and the North Valley Military Institute.
Alfred Flores Jr,. who passed away in 2009, is credited for coming up with the idea to hold a parade in the Northeast San Fernando Valley, which is home to thousands of veterans and families with a long history of service in the military.
L.A. County Veterans Advisory Commissioner Fred Flores recalls, “I would take my son to participate at Veterans parades a distance away each year and it was en route to Long Beach that my then 10- year-old son said ‘Why not have one here so we don’t have to get up so early and travel so far to be in a parade that should be right in our backyard?’ My son was right, and he was very proud of what he started.”
A carnival will be held Nov. 7-9 at the Ritchie Valens Recreation Center, 10736 Laurel Canyon Blvd., at the corner of Laurel Canyon Boulevard and Paxton Street. Free parking is available at the San Fernando High School football stadium parking lot (home side).
List of 2014 Honorary Grand Marshals
Staff Sgt. William R. McMullens
U.S. Army, 1944-1946
2014 World War II Era Honorary Grand Marshal
The Sylmar resident was shipped to the Pacific theater and was wounded during battles. After WWII, McMullens served in Korea, repatriating the Japanese military and civilian population. He was awarded the Combat Infantry Badge, Purple Heart, Bronze Star and Philippine Liberation Medals.
Gunnery Sgt. Jay Jakar
U.S. Marine Corps, 1950-1962
2014 Korean War Era Honorary Grand Marshal
The Sylmar resident enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1950. Jakar served in Korea from 1951 to 1953, and later continued his service with a tour in Southeast Asia from 1954 to 1959.
Cpl. Cruz D. Trevino
U.S. Marine Corps, 1963-1967
2014 Vietnam War Era Honorary Grand Marshal
The Mission Hills resident’s tour of duty began in 1963 where he served in Operation Star Lite and Operation Harvest Moon. He completed 34 combat reconnaissance patrols as a field radio operator in the Hue, Phu-Bai, and the Danang provinces.
Spc. 4 Mike Paniagua
U.S. Army, 1989-1995
2014 Desert Storm War Era Honorary Grand Marshal
The Lake View Terrace resident joined the Army and completed basic training in the summer of 1989. He returned to San Fernando High, to complete his senior year. After graduation in 1990, Paniagua served in Desert Storm and completed his military service in 1995. Paniagua is a member of the California Army National Guard, and also works as a firefighter with the U.S. Forest Service.
Spc. 4 Karla Gomez
U.S. Army Airborne, 1999-2002
2014 Operation Enduring Freedom Honorary Grand Marshal