MARSHALS & MILITARY FLYOVER ANNOUNCED
PICTURED are 2016 Parade Marshals (left to right):
Former DK3 John (Jack) G. Casey Jr.; CW5 Five Mark S. Marini, Sr.; and Lt. Col. (Ret.) Walter J. Hushak.
HARTFORD, CONN., October 6, 2016 – With one month to go until the Sunday, November 6th Connecticut Veterans Parade, organizers have announced the names of the 2016 Parade Marshals and confirmed that, for the second consecutive year, an exciting military aircraft flyover will take place during the event. New England’s largest veterans parade will step off at 12:30 p.m. near the State Capitol Building and proceed through Downtown Hartford, rain or shine. One hour before the parade starts, an 11:30 a.m. Wreath-Laying Ceremony will be held at the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch to remember all veterans. There will be color guard, music, and a bugler will play Taps.
The deadline to register to march has been extended to Thursday, October 20. Eligible marchers include Connecticut residents who are an active, retired or honorably discharged members of the U.S. Armed Forces including commissioned officers, warrant officers and enlisted personnel of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, National Guard or Reserves. Also included will be veterans groups, patriotic commissions, local municipalities, marching bands and drill teams from colleges, high and middle schools, and bagpipe & drum corps and fife & drum corps from across the state.
The 17th annual Connecticut Veterans Parade Marshals are (for full bios see this websites Marshals page):
• Former Disbursing Clerk Third Class John (Jack) G. Casey Jr. of Groton, a U.S. Navy Vietnam veteran who has dedicated his life to honoring veterans. He is an Assistant State Captain and current Board member of the Connecticut Patriot Guard Riders, founded to maintain the dignity of funerals of members of the armed forces, veterans, firefighters and police. His current mission is to collect photos of every Connecticut resident who died in the Vietnam War, giving a face to their courage and ultimate sacrifice.
• Lt. Col. (Ret.) Walter J. Hushak of Southington is a veteran of the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force Reserve who, at age 93, proudly marches in uniform at every Connecticut Veterans Parade. The World War II Army Captain was a pilot of a B-24 Liberator bomber in the Pacific from 1944 to 1946; missions included battles at Iwo Jima, Pagan and Marcus Island. He then served in the Air Force Reserve for 27 years, retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel. He preserves the history of WWII by speaking with school students of all ages.
• Chief Warrant Officer Five Mark S. Marini, Sr. of Suffield, who has 41 years of military service with the Connecticut Army National Guard, the past 17 of those as the Command Chief Warrant Officer of the CTNG’s Joint Force Headquarters. He is responsible for the formulation, development and implementation of all programs and policies affecting the Connecticut Army National Guard Warrant Officer Corps.
A C-130H aircraft from the Connecticut Air National Guard’s 103rd Airlift Wing will cap off the parade’s 1:30 p.m. Moment of Silence when parade marchers will stop in place in memory of service members who died while serving their country. At the end of that minute of remembrance, the C-130H will soar over the procession, in concert with the singing of the National Anthem by Bloomfield resident Anthony Harrington, and the tolling of Downtown Hartford church bells.
During the parade, volunteers will hand out “Thank You, Veterans” materials that spectators can hold high as the parade marches by. Small American flags will be available at no cost (while supplies last) at the Parade Information booth on Atheneum Square on Main Street. Official 2016 collectible Veterans Parade lapel pins cost $4 and also can be purchased at the Parade Information booth. To download an advance order form for pins, go to www.CTVeteransParade.org/about/pins/. Proceeds from sales help to pay for parade operations.
The winner of the parade’s annual Middle School Student Essay Contest will ride in a special vehicle in the procession. All Connecticut 6th, 7th and 8th graders were invited to write an essay addressing the question, “What It Means to be a Veteran.” Judges are in the process of selecting the top winner and two runners-up who will read their winning essays at a public, free ceremony in the Connecticut State Capitol’s Hall of Flags on Thursday, October 27 at 4 p.m. The competition is sponsored by the Navy League of the United States – Hartford Council and the State of Connecticut Department of Veterans Affairs.
For the seventh consecutive year, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ Veterans Day Committee has recognized the Connecticut Veterans Parade as one of the nation’s official “Veterans Day Regional Sites.” The parade is one of only 47 sites across the U.S. recognized this year with this prestigious honor and the only one in Connecticut to be honored.
The parade is organized by a nonprofit collaboration of veterans’ groups, corporations, local municipalities, businesses and civic organizations. Many of the members of the Parade Planning Committee have been involved in the parade since its inception in the year 2000. The Connecticut National Guard assists with the management of parade logistics, and the City of Hartford hosts the event.
Sponsorship dollars and donations from individuals are essential to help pay for the operations of the parade. They include corporations, organizations, and grass roots collection efforts. This year, in an effort to enable individuals to support the parade in an affordable way, organizers are hosting a new 17forVETS contributions campaign, inviting the public to donate $17 in honor of the parade’s 17th anniversary. Facebook and Tweeter social media, using (hashtag) #17forVETS, is helping to spread the word.
Financial contributions of $17 or any amount to support the parade can be made on-line at www.CTVeteransParade.org. Checks may be written to “Connecticut Veterans Fund” and mailed to:
Connecticut Veterans Fund
1245 Farmington Avenue #338
West Hartford, CT 06107
The following are the parade sponsors, as of October 5, 2016: The Founding Sponsor is Aetna. The Presenting Sponsor is Eversource. Contributing Sponsors are: the Connecticut National Guard; United Technologies; and Whelen Engineering Inc. Associate Sponsors are: Bank of America; Bob’s Discount Furniture; The Hartford Courant; Mohegan Sun; and Travelers. Cooperating Sponsors are: Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection & Insurance Company; Insurity Inc.; Prudential Retirement; and Webster Bank. The parade is produced in cooperation with: City of Hartford; Connecticut Department of Veterans Affairs; and Brad Davis. In-Kind Sponsors are: American Medical Response; The Hartford News; Invisible Gold Web Designs; Lamar Outdoor Advertising Hartford/Springfield; R2 Graphics; TagTeam Business Partners, LLC; and The Salvation Army. Other Donors include: Gerald Barker; Crowe Horwath LLP; Carmon Community Funeral Homes; D’Esopo Funeral Chapel; and Lt. Col.(ret.) Joseph Glasser.
For full information about the Nov. 6 Connecticut Veterans Parade, visit www.CTVeteransParade.org or call 860-986-7254. Facebook: Connecticut Veterans Parade, and Twitter: @CTVetsParade