November 16, 2004
Vietnam veteran Jim Grone wanted to build a better image for his fellow warriors. Two decades after he began his quest, Tempe has recognized his efforts.
On Veterans Day, Tempe Mayor Hugh Hallman presented Grone with a proclamation and an award recognizing his work to support and promote the Tempe Veterans Day Parade during the past two decades. The city also named Nov. 12, 2004, as Jim Grone Day.
"It really hit me hard when they presented me with that award," he said. "I was more than just a little misty-eyed that day."
Grone said he started volunteering for the parade in the mid-1980s because the image of Vietnam veterans had become distorted.
Because of the political climate after the United States withdrew from the Southeast Asian country in 1975, Grone said Vietnam veterans were looked down upon.
Grone, who has lived in Tempe for nearly 35 years, said he served a 12-month tour in Vietnam and a total of three years in the U.S. Army.