Friday, November 11, 2011

Tulsa Veterans Day Parade 4th Largest in Nation: The Home of the Free Because of the Brave

Maggie's Notebook

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Last year I was not so shocked to learn that the Tulsa, Oklahoma Veterans Day Parade was the 5th largest in the country. This year, the commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 577 says the Tulsa Parade has moved up to No. 4. We ranked No. 46 in city size in 2010, but we have the fourth largest Veterans Day Parade. Amazing. Tulsa is a very patriot city and we love and admire our Veterans. On this day in 1918, World War I ended on the 11th day of the 11th month at the 11 hour. On this day in 1921, The Tomb of the Unknowns was dedicated at Arlington Cemetery. On this day in 1996, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund launched “The Wall that Heals.” Veterans Day honors all U.S. Military veterans who have served, and are serving, our country.
Ray Amstutz - Tulsa's 2010 Veteran's Day Parade
The photo of Mr. Amstutz is from Tulsa’s 2010 parade. As he walke the parade route at the age of 86, he was wearing the same boots he wore during his service in WWII in New Guinea and Japan. I don’t know his military rank and do not know if he is marching today, but I’ll update if I locate more information.
On this day of honoring, remembering, and memorializing our veterans, it is good to remember that our military consists of many religious and non-religious beliefs – but always, our wars have been about liberation, never about occupation, never about confiscation. On this day, I remember my father, who served in WWII and two brothers who served in the U.S. Air Force and I am praying God’s blessing on all who have served and are serving.
This year’s parade Commander is Wang Meng Vang. For the first time, the parade will include Vietnamese military who served with American forces in the Vietnamese war.
Please note, if a photo of the parade participants listed below are not shown, it is only because I could not find one.
In today’s parade, which is our 93rd, our honorees are:
Commander of the parade Wang Meng Vang, who enlisted in 1961 as a private in the Vietnamese Army and eventually was promoted to major. He now lives in Colcord, Okla.
Grand Marshals Gerald Holland, 92 and a World War II veteran who enlisted a month after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and Rebecca Willemstein, 21, who recently returned from a deployment to Afghanistan with the Air Force.
Grand Marshall Gerold Holland, Tulsa Veterans Day Parade 2011 - WWII
Grand Marshall Rebecca Willemstein, Airman First Class, Afghanistan - Tulsa Veterans Day Parade 2011
Parade Chiefs of Staff Sgt. 1st Class Logan Boatfield and Sgt. Michael Mahaffey.
Sfc. Logan Boatfield - Tulsa Veterans Day Parade Parade Chief 2011
Twin brothers Dustin “Dusty” Akehurst and William “Donnie” Akehurst, 24, will serve as parade adjutants. They are both serving in the Oklahoma National Guard in Afghanistan and served in Iraq in 2007 and 2008.
Commander of the parade Wang Meng Vang, who enlisted in 1961 as a private in the Vietnamese Army and eventually was promoted to major. He now lives in Colcord, Okla.
Grand Marshals Gerald Holland, 92 and a World War II veteran who enlisted a month after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and Rebecca Willemstein, 21, who recently returned from a deployment to Afghanistan with the Air Force.
Parade Chiefs of Staff Sgt. 1st Class Logan Boatfield and Sgt. Michael Mahaffey.
Twin brothers Dustin “Dusty” Akehurst and William “Donnie” Akehurst, 24, will serve as parade adjutants. They are both serving in the Oklahoma National Guard in Afghanistan and served in Iraq in 2007 and 2008.
Below are Oklahoma Military killed since September 11, 2001 (my apologies if this list is not complete. If you leave information for me in comments or send an email, I will add the name):
November 2011:
Spc. Christopher D. Gailey, 26, of Ochelata
Pfc. Sarina N. Butcher, 19 of Checotah (the 1st female Oklahoma National Guard soldier to be killed during wartime, and the youngest.
September 2011:
Spc. Francisco J. Briseno-Alvarez Jr. 27, of Oklahoma City
Sgt. Mycal L France 28, of Minco
Sgt. Bret D. Isenhower 26, of Lamar
Spc. Christopher D. Horton 26, of Collinsville
Pvt. 1st Class Tony J. Potter, Jr. 20, of Okmulgee
August 2011:
Spc. Joshua M. Seals 21, of Porter
1st Lt. Damon T. Leehan 30, of Edmond
2nd Lt. Joe L. Cunningham 27, of Kingston
Sgt. Anthony Del Mar Peterson 24, Chelsea
Spc. Jordan M. Morris 23, of Stillwater
Staff Sgt Kirk A. Owen 37, of Sapulpa
July 2011:
Spc. Augustus J. Vicari 22, of Broken Arrow
2nd Lt. Jered W. Ewy 33, of Edmond
March 2011:
Sgt. Travis M. Tompkins 31, of Lawton
Pvt. 1st Class Arturo E. Rodriguez 19, of Lawton
November 2010:
Sgt. Jason J. McCluskey 26, of McAlester
July 2010:
Pvt. 1st Class Ryan J. Grady 25, of Bristow
June 2010:
Spc. Jared C. Plunk 27, of Stillwater
Spc. Andrew R. Looney 22, of Owasso
Spc. Charles S. Jirtle 29, of Lawton
January 2010:
Cpt. David J. Thompson 39, of Hooker
Pvt. John P. Dion 19, of Shattuck
October 2009:
Frank R. Walker 66, civilian of Oklahoma City
Staff Sgt. Jack M. Martin III 26, of Bethany
September 2009:
1st Lt. David T. Wright II 26, of Moore
July 2009:
Lance Cpl. Jonathan Fulton Stroud 20, of Cashion
Pvt. 1st Class Dennis Joseph Pratt 34, of Duncan
Petty Ofc 2nd Class Tony Michael Randolph of Henyretta
February 2009:
Sgt. Schuyler B. Patch 24, of Owasso
January 2009:
Staff Sgt. Carlo M. Robinson 33, of Lawton
August 2008:
Staff Sgt Brandon W. Farley 30, of Haworth
July 2008:
Major Scott A. Hagerty 41, of Stillwater
August 2007:
Sgt. 1st Class Jeffrey D. Kettle 31, of Madill
February 2007:
Sgt. Buddy J. Hughie 19, of Poteau
June 2006:
Cpl. Derek A. Stanley 20, Tulsa
December 2005:
1st Sgt. Tobias C. Meister 30, Jenks
September 2005:
Staff Sgt. John G. Doles 29, of Claremore
August 2004:
Sgt. Daniel Lee Galvan 30, of Moore
January 2004:
Sgt. Danton K. Seitsinger 29, of Oklahoma City
April 2003:
Pvt. Jerod R. Dennis 19, of Antlers
On this day in 1620, the Mayflower Compact was signed. The first colonists leading the way to America, as we know it today, signed a governing document for Plymouth Colony. The colonists crossed the Atlantic Ocean aboard the Mayflower. At least half of those were Christians, seeking the freedom to practice Christianity, without the tyrannical direction of the the King James. The Compact clearly established that the Colony would be free of English law. “It was devised to set up a government from within themselves and was written by those to be governed.” The compact began “In the name of God, Amen.”
When creating the Mayflower Compact, the signers believed that covenants were not only to be honored between God and man, but also between each other. They had always honored covenants as part of their righteous integrity and agreed to be bound by this same principle with the Compact. John Adams and many historians have referred to the Mayflower Compact as the foundation of the U.S. Constitution written more than 150 later.
America was indeed begun by men who honored God and set their founding principles by the words of the Bible. They lived their lives with honesty, reliability, and fairness toward establishing this country “for the sake of its survival.” A great many of America’s Founding Fathers have been quoted in regard to living by Biblical values.
God bless our Military.
Photo Credit for Mr. Amstutz: JAMES GIBBARD/Tulsa World: