Since its founding in 2013 The Bronx Veterans Parade Task Team has not slowed their march as their fourth annual Bronx Veterans Day Parade approaches.
Despite its small membership, the Task Team, otherwise known as TBVPTT, strives to better the lives of military veterans in the west and south Bronx, particularly within the Black and Latino communities.
The goal of their annual parade has been to spread the same message: make the community more aware of veteran needs while also educating veterans about their own benefits and letting them know they are not alone.
“Some veterans sit there… coming out of the Army disabled not knowing they can go to the VA for medical service,” President of TBVPTT and retired United States Army staff sergeant, James L. Wilson said. “You do have someone you can call on, you do have somewhere you can go and we’ll find housing, we’ll find shelter, we’ll find something for you.”
To help spread this message TBVPTT reached out to other companies and organizations about setting up their own resource and screening tables during the parade to help promote healthier living for veterans, their families, and the neighborhoods they come from. These resources will be available at the Vidalia Park section of the parade.
But spreading awareness between parents and grandparents is only part of TBVPTT’s community outreach.
Passing the message and sharing the legacy of military veterans to the younger generations is also essential to the organization’s progress according to Wilson and vice president of TBVPTT, Robert Walker.
“In our invitation was ‘bring your children’ because children don’t know what a veteran is,” Wilson added. “Because there’s non-veteran families who never talked about a veteran and there are veteran families who never talked about their dad or mom who were in the Army.”
“Part of it is the younger folks look up to the older folks and tend to emulate them so they go into the service,” Walker, who is also an Army veteran, added. “Any other way they don’t care about the service.”
TBVPTT selected 56-year-old Kingsbridge resident and Army veteran LaTanga Blair as this year’s grand marshal.
She will be recognized for her 11-year career in the armed forces along with honoree and fellow Army veteran Senator Ruben Diaz, Sr. during the parade.
The organization also encourages the attendance and participation of elected officials to learn more about military veterans and their neighborhoods.
The fourth annual Bronx Veterans Parade in Crotona is scheduled for Saturday, November 4 at noon.
The parade will run along Crotona Parkway from East 175th and 180th streets.