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Crowds to salute veterans Monday in Folsom parade, ceremony

By: Laura Newell, Features Editor
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FOLSOM, CA - One of the largest parades in the region returns next week.

Folsom’s 12th annual Wayne Spence Veterans Parade begins at 9 a.m. Monday, Nov. 12, in the Target/Home Goods parking lot on East Bidwell Street, and ends at City Lions Park near the Veterans Memorial.

“Veterans Day is to honor our veterans and Folsom has a large veterans population to honor,” said Ron Hawn, commander of the American Legend Folsom Post 362. “We want to invite all of our local veterans to come out and march with us in the parade.”

Hawn, a veteran, served in the Air Force from 1958 through 1962. He has been a Folsom resident for 20 years.

The parade theme is “Veterans – The Heart of America” and approximately 3,000 people are expected to line the route to cheer on parade marchers.

Entrants include marching bands, drill teams, veterans groups and scout and youth groups. Hawn said there will also be an Air Force flyover with a T38 from Beale Air Force Base at 9:25 a.m.

The judges’ review stand will be located at the end of the parade route at City Lions Park along Natoma Street.

Four veterans will share grand marshal duties this year including June Greig, PFC Marine Corps, who served in World War II; Willie Golden, Master Sergeant, Army, who served in Korea; Len Dobish, 1st Lieutenant, Army, who received a Purple Heart for his service in Vietnam; and Don Currier, Brigadier General, Commander, California Army National Guard, who served in Operation Desert Storm.

Greig, 89, of Folsom, said she is honored to be a grand marshal.

“I think being a part of this parade does a good deed and gives our young children something to remember and think about,” Greig said. “I joined the Marine Corps in 1943, for the duration of the war. I was the oldest of six children and signed up with my brother. I wrote to my brother everyday. It was a good experience and I have lifetime friends. Being a woman, I didn’t think anything about the fact that I was a woman serving. But today, at my older age, I feel proud to have been a part of the Marine Corps.”

She said the motto in those days was to relieve a man to fight, so she went into the office and relieved her brother to go to the South Pacific.

“It’s important to celebrate to remind everyone to remember that there are veterans out there,” she said. “This reminds us also of what the veterans have done for us in the past and today. It is wonderful to just be able to recognize our veterans and support them. We don’t want Americans to forget. So it’s wonderful to have this day and let veterans be proud of what they have done.”

The parade route will start at Target then travel along East Bidwell, Coloma and Natoma streets to City Lions Park adjacent to the Folsom Public Library. Those roads will be closed during the parade.