“Yesterday’s Veterans Salute Our Future Veterans” is the theme for the 2003 San Diego Veterans Day Parade on Tuesday, November 11, 2003, starting at 11:00 a.m. The parade starts at the County Administration Building at the corner of Harbor Drive and Grape Street and proceeds south on Harbor Drive to Seaport Village. “We want to invite all the San Diego community to join with us in honoring our veterans at the 16th annual Veterans Day Parade,” said Tom Splitgerber, parade chairman.
More than 3,500 participants representing all branches of the service, and veterans from World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and the Gulf War, along with 100 patriotic, civic, local high school ROTC groups and bands will review in the parade. The parade is presented by the Veterans Museum & Memorial Center, in conjunction with the City of San Diego, and the County of San Diego, Aging and Independence Services.
The Grand Marshal is Joe Ciokin, Vietnam veteran and leader in the San Diego veteran community for more than 15 years. As the Television News Director in Saigon, he covered the TET Offensive extensively. Later, in another dangerous theater, he received the Purple Heart medal for wounds suffered during the terrorist attack on the Marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon. He is one of the founders of Stand Down in San Diego, and is part chair of the United Veterans Council.
The Honorary Grand Marshals are the members of the 301st Psychological Operations (PSYOP) Reserve Company (Airbone) which has been mobilized to support Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, and Operation Iraqi Freedom. The mission of the 301st PSYOP Company is to “win the hearts and minds” of the enemy through various media including print leaflets, handbills, posters, loudspeakers, radio and TV broadcasts.
The 2003 San Diego Veteran of the Year is Robert Cardenas, Brig. Gen. USAF (Retired). General Cardenas has made countless contributions to both the veterans of San Diego, the city of San Diego and to our country since retiring from the U.S. Air Force as a Brigadier General with a distinguished career as a test pilot, combat pilot, air commando and many other significant assignments. He has been an active member of the Mayor’s Veterans Advisory Board, serves on the United Veterans Council and many local, state and federal boards dealing with veterans’ affairs.
For more information, contact: Tom Splitgerber: (619) 531-4545.