July 30, 2014
Public Information and Communications
Contact: Kevin Christopher
Grand Marshal announced for East Valley Veterans Parade in Mesa
Mesa, AZ - Retired Army Colonel Bruce Crandall, a Medal of Honor recipient, has been named Grand Marshal for the 2014 East Valley Veterans Parade in Mesa.
Crandall, a former public works manager for the City of Mesa, received the Medal of Honor, the nation's highest military honor, from President George W. Bush in 2007 for his actions during the Battle of la Drang during the Vietnam War. During the battle, he flew 22 missions in an unarmed helicopter into enemy fire to bring ammunition and supplies and to evacuate the wounded. In one day, Crandall and his Wingman, Captain Ed Freeman, flew for 14 and a half hours and rescued 70 wounded soldiers. Crandall and Freeman were the first helicopter pilots in any branch of military service to receive the Medal of Honor.
Crandall's heroism at the Battle of la Drang is depicted in the 1992 book We Were Soldiers Once...And Young and in the 2002 movie We Were Soldiers where he was portrayed by Greg Kinnear. Crandall served as an aviation consultant during filming.
By the end of the Vietnam War, Crandall had flown more than 900 combat missions and received numerous military decorations in addition to the Medal of Honor. He was inducted into the U.S. Air Force's Gathering of Eagles in 1994, one of only seven Army aviators so honored. He was inducted into the Army Aviation Hall of Fame in 2004.
The 2014 East Valley Veterans Parade has also named its Honorary Service Representatives who will represent all five branches of the U.S. military. All are members of the Arizona Veterans Hall of Fame. They are:
* Army - Karl Kohlhoff, Colonel, U.S. Army Reserve, Retired. Kohlhoff is a former Assistant Utilities Manager with the City of Mesa still active in civil engineering. He serves as a consultant for the "Next Bucket of Water" for Arizona related to the desalting of the Gulf of California in an international partnership along the Colorado River.
* Navy - Joe Schneider. He served two tours of duty in the North Korea combat zone. Schneider, a certified public accountant, provides free financial and tax assistance to veterans and volunteers at the Arizona State Veterans Home.
* Marine - Lew Bradley. He served as crew chief in air sea rescue in Korea. Bradley serves as Commander for Korean War Veterans (KWVA) Arden A. Rowley Chapter, serves on honor guard and represents KWVA at events. He is a charter member of East Valley Marine Corps League.
* Coast Guard - Art Sloane, Command Enlisted Advisor, U.S. Coast Guard, Retired. Sloane writes the "Valley Vets Column" for the Arizona Republic. He is also a leader in the Hamilton High School Veterans Graduation Project, which enables veterans to participate in graduation ceremonies they missed due to reporting for active duty.
* Air Force - Lowell (Ed) Fox. Fox served in the U.S. Navy and retired from the U.S. Air Force as a Lieutenant Colonel. He is a life member of the Military Order of World Wars and dedicates time and leadership annually to its summer Youth Leadership Program. He established the Air Force Junior ROTC program at Highland High School.
The 2014 East Valley Veterans Parade will be held Saturday, Nov. 8 at 11 a.m. along Center Street in downtown Mesa. Parade organizers began a new tradition last year by holding the event on the Saturday before Veterans Day to give more people a chance to attend and support our veterans. Parade information will be available at www.evvp.org.