31st Annual Throggs Neck Veterans Day Parade soldiers on

Three decades strong, the 31st Annual Throggs Neck Veterans Day Parade continues to soldier on in time for next month’s celebration.

Keeping with tradition, this celebration of our nation’s veterans begins with Senator Jeff Klein’s annual Veterans Day Breakfast held at the Villa Barone Manor.

Set prior to the parade, the Veterans Day Breakfast is scheduled from 9 to 11 a.m. and is free for all to attend, however guests are asked to RSVP beforehand.

“Military service members, both past and present, represent the backbone of this country and are a reflection of America’s rich history, diversity and unyielding commitment to freedom and democracy,” said Senator Klein. “These brave men and women put their lives on the line to protect us everyday and this veterans breakfast is just a small way of us giving back to them,” he added.

The parade is set for Sunday, November 8 at noon and will step off between East Tremont and Lafayette avenues.

According to Gene DeFrancis, TNVDP public relations director, this year’s parade theme is the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War serving as a welcome home to our borough’s many Vietnam veterans.

The parade will continue until 2 p.m. concluding at Bicentennial Veterans Memorial Park where a ceremony honoring this year’s grand marshal and honorary grand marshals will take place.

According to DeFrancis, Lieutenant Colonel Floyd Carter, a Tuskegee Airman veteran who served during in World War II, Korea and Vietnam has been appointed as this year’s grand marshal.

A Tuskegee Institute graduate, Lieutenant Colonel Carter’s served as a navigator, pilot and instructor pilot as well as participating in the Berlin Airlift and Korean Conflict.

In addition to his service in WWII and Korea, Lieutenant Colonel Carter flew missions in support of the Vietnam War as a squadron commander of the 732nd Military Airlift Squadron at McGuire Air Force base in 1971 until his retirement in 1974.

In 2007, Lieutenant Colonel Carter was one of 200 Tuskegee Airmen awarded the Congressional Gold Medal of Honor by former president George W. Bush.

Honorary grand marshals for the 2015 parade include Robert ‘Coz’ Eraneazio, Ray Karta, Maurice Powers, James Cerasoli, Cornelius Wallace, Robert Fritz, John Laguna and Angelo ‘Jerry’ Gerardi, according to DeFrancis.

“We’re proud and honored to hold this parade every year in honor of our veterans and we look forward to sharing this day with the rest of the community,” said DeFrancis. “We are incredibly excited to have Lieutenant Colonel Floyd Carter as our grand marshal and to have this opportunity to express our gratitude toward these brave men and women who have and continue to serve our country.”

According to DeFrancis, a 50/50 raffle is set for this annual event with tickets costing $10 each with all proceeds covering parade expenses.

“Last year, we raised close to $4,000 and we’re on target to reach this same amount, if not surpass it for this year’s parade,” he said.

Raffle tickets are now available and can be picked up at local Throggs Neck businesses such as the Throggs Neck Clipper, the Wicked Wolf Restaurant, Brewski’s Bar and Grill and local American Legion veteran posts like the Throgs Neck Post and the Theodore Korony Post #253.

If interested in participating or contributing to this upcoming parade or for more information, contact bxveteransparade@gmail.com.

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