As it approaches 30 years next month, the Throggs Neck Veterans Day Parade shows no signs of slowing down.
“This is the 30th anniversary of the parade and it’s actually a borough-wide event,” explained Patrick Devine, co-founder and co-chairman of the United Veterans Parade Committee of Greater New York.
The festivities begin with Senator Jeffrey Klein’s Veterans Day Breakfast, held at the Villa Barone Manor. It is scheduled from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m. before the parade. This event is free and welcomed to all, however guests are asked to RSVP beforehand. For additional information and to RSVP, contact Klein’s office, (718) 822-2049.
“Veterans Day events are some of my favorite events of the year, as we come together as a community to pay tribute to the distinguished men and women from all branches of military service who devoted their lives to this country,” said the senator.
“At my annual breakfast at Villa Barone, we honor the achievements and sacrifice of our local veterans and their families, followed by the Throggs Neck Veterans Day Parade where we celebrate their courage and say thank you for their service, preserving and protecting the freedoms of democracy that we hold dear.”
The annual neighborhood parade honoring veterans and their service to our country is set for Sunday, November 9 at noon and will step off between Lafayette and Tremont avenues. 50/50 raffles will be sold at Senator Klein’s breakfast and at the Bronxonia Yacht Club at 518 Ellsworth Avenue to offset the parade’s expenses. They will be available until the parade’s end and winners will be announced at Bronxonia Yacht Club. Refreshments, including hot dogs and soda, will be served there for participants to partake in after the parade. Raffle participants need not be present to win as they will be contacted.
This year’s grand marshal is Captain Frank Parisi, a Bronx native and graduate of Regis High School. He enrolled into the Naval Academy where he graduated with distinction in 2004. That same year, Parisi was commissioned as Second Lieutenant in the Marine Corps and after his training, enrolled into Aviation Proflight Indoctrination at Pensacola, Florida’s Naval Air Station in 2005. By 2008, he achieved the rank of captain. Parisi was deployed aboard the U.S.S. Bataan to serve with the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit where he trained in Greece and Kuwait.
Among many other special operations, Parisi engaged in Operation Bright Star in Egypt as well as Operation Enduring Freedom in the Badghis Province, Afghanistan in 2012.
This past August 31, Captain Parisi left active duty and now serves as a member of the Individual Ready Reserve. His extensive credentials include the General Charles C. Krulak Award and the Merrill F. Collier Leadership Award; both earned in the Academy, the Combat Action Ribbon, the Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal, three Sea Service Deployment Ribbons, and the Global War on Terror Expeditionary and Service Medals.
Despite his impressive resume, Captain Parisi remains humble.
“We were looking to honor people from Iraq and Afghanistan and his name came up right away,” revealed Devine. “He’s a really great guy and we’re honored to have him.”
“The whole family is very proud of him,” expressed James Parisi, Captain Parisi’s father. “He took a path that not many take and he brought us on a journey throughout those years to see what these soldiers experience firsthand, it’s amazing. We’re very happy he’s home and we’re incredibly proud of him.”
“I was born and raised here in Throggs Neck,” said Captain Parisi. “It’s a very tight-knit community made of veterans from World War II, Vietnam, and the more recent wars. It’s an incredible honor to be able to represent both of these communities.”
If you wish to march in the Throggs Neck Veterans Day Parade, contact Patrick Devine at either (718) 823-1981 or (917) 913-6336.