The 22nd Annual Bend Veterans Day Parade is Saturday. Grand Marshal J.W. Terry stopped by Good Morning Central Oregon Tuesday to talk about it.
The Vietnam veteran and retired U.S. Navy Command master chief explained how special the annual parade is.
“Well, I think it’s a fun day. It’s the camaraderie. It’s some of us older veterans being able to get together with the community and let them know about what we’ve done in the past, what we’re doing now, and just to meet and greet the men and women and children of the community,” Terry said.
Terry also said the parade feels exciting and humbling at the same time and that it makes his day when people say “Hi.”
The parade starts at 11:00 a.m, but make sure to get there early to find a good spot along the route. The route begins at the corner of NW Harmon, proceeding on NW Newport across the Veterans Memorial Bridge, south on Wall Street, west on Franklin along Drake Park down NW Riverside Drive, turning onto NW Galveston and concludes at NW Harmon Blvd.
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Here is the full release from Central Oregon Veterans Outreach:
Bend, OR –The annual Veterans Day Parade of Bend will kick off at 11 a.m. Saturday November 11, 2023 in downtown Bend. Central Oregon Veterans Outreach (COVO) produces Bend’s annual patriotic event to honor and thank Central Oregon veterans and military personnel for their service.
Over 400 volunteers and 2,000 parade participants help make the Bend Veterans Day Parade one of the largest parades in the State of Oregon and west of the Mississippi. Theme for the 2022 Bend Veterans Day Parade is “Thank You for Your Service: Veterans Serve Their country and Their Community”.
“This year the Veterans Day parade gives everyone the opportunity to honor Veterans for their military service and for coming home and continue serving their communities in government, business, schools and social services,” according to Les Bivens, U.S. Navy Vietnam Veteran and Board President of COVO.
Grand Marshal for the parade is local Vietnam Veteran and retired U.S. Navy Command Master Chief J.W. Terry. Terry was nominated by Oregon Band of Brothers Bend Chapter and Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) Chapter #820 in Bend. Terry did 32 years active service, served in Vietnam, had multiple shipboard deployments around the world, served as Master Chief of Great Lakes Naval Training Station and Command Master Chief of Naval Station New York. He taught the NJROTC program at Mountain View High School in Bend for 13 years and is currently Executive Director of Central Oregon Veterans Outreach (COVO) and state president of the Oregon Band of Brothers. He serves as post commander of Bend American Legion post, is a member of the Oregon Veteran Motorcycle Association High Desert Eagles and a life-long member of VVA.
Lyle Hicks, U.S. Navy Vietnam Veteran and owner of Jake’s Diner which hosts the weekly Band of Brothers chapter in Bend, noted that Terry exemplifies how Veterans continue to serve others long after the military. “J.W. has kept his Chief’s hat on all his life, so if there’s something that needs to be done for Veterans, he does not give up”, said Hicks.
The Veterans Day Parade route begins at the corner of NW Harmon, proceeding on NW Newport across the Veterans Memorial Bridge, south on Wall Street, west on Franklin along Drake Park down NW Riverside Drive, turning onto NW Galveston and concludes at NW Harmon Blvd.
The public is invited to participate in the Parade. There is no registration fee. Parade entrants include Veteran service groups, Oregon Army National Guard, school bands, first responders, elected officials, local service and social organizations and businesses. Title sponsors for the fourth year are Gary Gruner Chevrolet Buick GMC and Mid Oregon Credit Union. Register at www.covo-us.org or emailing BendVeteransParade@covo-us.org .
Bend Parade of Flags, produced by Bend Heroes Foundation, will display American flags along downtown Bend streets and the Veterans Memorial Bridge. ADA parking is designated in the City Hall parking lot on Wall Street and an ADA viewing area is at the corner of Franklin and Wall Street. For more information: Central Oregon Veterans Outreach – COVO, Phone: 541.383-2793, Email: BendVeteransParade@covo-us.org