Larry A. Polzin, National Commander for the Disabled American Veterans (DAV), will be the 2015 Grand Marshal for the 12th annual San Fernando Valley Veterans Day Parade on Nov. 11.
Polzin, 73, who lives in Sylmar, is a Vietnam-era veteran who served in the U.S. Marine Corps.
“I was quite surprised. It is indeed an honor,” Polzin said. “(Parade organizer) Fred Flores is a member of our DAV chapter, and he asked me last year. But then they got (Los Angeles Mayor) Eric Garcetti, and I said some other time.
“They asked me again this year, and I said yes, I would.”
Pollen has appeared at other Veterans Day parades in other states, but said the parade here is special. “I go to our parade, and I never see a better turnout anywhere else. And there’s the love, the dedication of the people on the streets. They’re all out here, rooting veterans on. It gives you such a warm feeling.”
Also appearing this year as honorary grand marshals:
— Pfc. Sanovio M. Armenta, U.S. Army 1944-1946. Armenia, from Pacoima, served in World War II during the April, 1, 1945 amphibious landing with the 96th “Dead Eye” Division on Okinawa, Japan. He remained in Okinawa until the end of that campaign. Armenta was awarded the Bronze Star Medal, Philippine Liberation Ribbon, Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal and the Combat Infantry Badge.
— Pfc. Rodolfo (Fito) Magdaleno, U.S. Army 1944-1946. Magdaleno, from Sylmar, served in World War II as a rifleman with the U.S. Army’s 7th Infantry Division. Magdaleno aided and assisted in the capture of enemy personnel and installations in the Asiatic-Pacific Theatre. He served 10 years as a color guard with the VFW San Fernando Post #3834. In 2001, Fito was an honored guest at the State Capitol in recognition of his service.
— Cpl. Richard Jimenez, U.S. Army 1950-1953. Jimenez, from Chatsworth, enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1950. He served in Korea with the 40th Infantry Division. Jimenez was awarded the National Defense Medal, The Army of Occupation Medal, Korea United Nations Medal, Efficiency – Honor Fidelity Medal, Korea Service Medal, and the Ambassador for Peace Medal.
— Spc. 4 Art Guzman, U.S. Army 1970-1972. From Sylmar, Art Guzman was assigned to the 4th Infantry Division while in the Republic of Vietnam, and served under General Westmoreland’s U.S. Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (MACV). His awards include, the National Defense Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with a bronze star, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Ribbon, Army Meritorious Unit Citation with a gallantry cross. Art Guzman is an ordained minister, a member of the City of Los Angeles’ “Crisis Response Team” and continues to educate LAUSD students and parents, on military and Veterans issues of the past and present.
— 1st Sergeant Ishmael Guzman, U.S. Army 1969-1994. From Pacoima, Ishmael Guzman’s tour of duty began in 1969. While in the Republic of Vietnam and Cambodia, he was with the 25th S &T Battalion, 25th Infantry Division for one year. In 1981, Ishmael Guzman entered the California Army National Guard, served 20 years and achieved the rank of 1st Sergeant. With the National Guard, Ishmael Guzman served during the 1987 Stanislaus National Forest Fire, 1992 Los Angeles Riots, and the recovery and response efforts during the 1994 Northridge Earthquake. He is a member of the Sergeants Major Association, and the San Fernando American Legion Post 176.
— Spc. 4 Tom Guzman, U.S. Army 1968-1970. From Sylmar, Tom Guzman began serving in 1968. While in the Republic of Vietnam, he was part of five major combat campaigns, receiving Army commendations for all five and the Good Conduct Medal. After completing his military service, Tom Guzman worked as a City of Los Angeles Fireman for 31 years.
— Chief Warrant Officer Two Martha Adame, U.S. Air Force 1998-2002 & U.S. Army 1997-2014. Adame, a Sun Valley native, flew UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters and logged 344 combat hours in Iraq and Kuwait. She served a total of nine years in the U.S. Army and four years in the U.S. Air Force. Her awards include the Army Air Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Korea Defense Medal, and the United Nations Service Medal.
— Sergeant 1st Class Nancy E. Sainz, U.S. Army. Sainz was born and raised in the San Fernando Valley. She enlisted in the U.S. Army in 2001 and has completed four deployments to Iraq and one deployment to Afghanistan. Her awards include 3 Bronze Star Medals, 6 Army Commendation Medals, 4 Army Good Conduct Medals, 2 Afghanistan Campaign Medals, 6 Iraq Campaign Medals, 2 United Nations Service Medal. Her husband has served in the Army for more than 23 years and they are stationed together at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. They have five children, ages ranging from 1 to 19. While continuing to serve in the Army, Sainz is completing the requirements for her doctorate in Psychology.
Also scheduled to appear in this year’s parade, which starts exactly at 11:11 a.m., is the 300th Army Band, “Hollywood’s Own,” a subordinate unit of the U.S. Army Reserve and the 63rd Regional Support Command, travels coast-to-coast performing in a wide variety of settings, including military ceremonies, public concerts, parades, and educational outreach programs.
Only Veterans are riding in vehicles in the parade, Flores said.
The parade 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 Blvd. and Paxton Street. Free parking is available at the San Fernando High School Football Stadium Home Side Parking Lot. The parking entrance is off of O’Melveny Avenue and Chamberlain Street.
Thousands of people are expected to view the annual event. Highway off-ramps and local streets will be shut down to traffic from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m.