Phoenix Veteran’s Day parade features actress from TV show “M*A*S*H”

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Honoring Arizona’s Veterans (HAV) organization presents the 21st annual Phoenix Veterans Day Parade on Saturday, Nov. 11. Television and film actress Loretta Swit will serve in the parade as the Celebrity Grand Marshal.

Swit is known for her role as the character Major Margaret Houlihan on the comedy-drama television series “M*A*S*H”. 

The theme for this year’s parade is “Silent Sacrifice,” honoring veterans of the 40-plus year long Cold War. Nearly 20 Cold War Veterans will be riding on a special float in the parade. 

[RELATED: Phoenix Veterans Day Parade expected to draw 45K spectators]

“I’ve been working with the parade team for five years now, and it’s still amazing to me to see how it helps our veterans heal,” HAV president Aaron Dudney said. “The men and women who serve in our military face many unique challenges, and when they return they are a source of pride for us. We can never repay them for their service and sacrifice, so having an event, like this, shows the gratitude we have as a community for them. That, in turn, helps us to honor them, and that’s why Honoring Arizona’s Veterans puts on this event.” 

[RELATED: Phoenix Veterans Day Parade honors Korean War veterans]

Other features include: 

  • 14 Floats
  • 12 Marching Units
  • Seven Color Guards 
  • Eight novelty units
  • Five bands
  • Four large helium balloons, including Uncle Sam, the Bald Eagle, the Purple Heart and – new this year – the military service and HAV balloon.
  • Dozens of military vehicles
  • Animal entries

[RELATED: 17th annual Phoenix Veterans Day Parade honors military heroes]

Several Grand Marshals will also be featured in the parade with Swit, including: 

  • Harold Bergbower, World War II (former Prisoner of War)
  • Melvin Brody, Korean War
  • Larry Leighton, Vietnam War (Purple Heart recipient)
  • Bernard O’Keefe, Cold War (8-time recipient of Meritorious Service Medal)
  • John Scott, Desert Storm (Retired Major General, Bronze Star recipient)
  • Raul Sanchez, Operation Enduring Freedom
  • Richard Arnold, Operation Iraqi Freedom
  • Carol Culbertson, Veteran Community
  • Alan Powell, “AP,” HeroZona
  • Craig Opel, Business Community
  • Katie Schaaf, Arizona Pageant Queen

The Veteran’s Day parade will start at 11 a.m. and end at approximately 1 p.m. There will be road closures throughout the morning and afternoon of the parade:

7 a.m.

  • Central Avenue from Bethany Home Road to Missouri Avenue
  • Montebello Avenue from Central Avenue to Second Street

9:30 a.m.

  • Central Avenue between Indian School and Bethany Home roads
  • Camelback Road between Seventh Avenue and 16th Street
  • Seventh Street between Thomas and Bethany Home roads
  • Indian School Road between Central Avenue and 16th Street
  • Missouri Avenue between Seventh Avenue and Seventh Street

For all the detour information, click here: Detour schedule

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