The Boise Veterans Day Parade Committee has named four Grand Marshals for this year's parade, which will take place on November 4.
The theme is "Saluting the Rich Military History of Gowen Field."
Parade public affairs officer Matthew Parrott says the parade is taking place a week before Veterans Day because November 4 is a drill weekend for the Idaho National Guard at Gowen Field, and that will allow local military units to have a much larger presence in the parade.
About the Grand Marshals (information is from the parade website, linked at the beginning of this story):
Lt. Clair Kilton, U.S. Army, served in World War II, beginning active duty in March 1943. He arrived in Normandy, France, five days after the D-Day landing, and served as a platoon leader in rifle and heavy weapons companies. On August 1, 1944, Kilton received a bullet wound in his left arm in the hedge rows of France. He recuperated in England and returned to active duty in October of 1944, fighting in battles in Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes, and Central Germany. By the time he was discharged in September 1945, Kilton had received numerous decorations, including the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with five battle stars, the Purple Heart, and the Silver Star. In civilian life, Kilton started his own photography business. His wife of 68 years passed away in April. All eight of Kilton's children came to Boise last summer to help celebrate his 99th birthday.
KTVB featured Mr. Kilton earlier this year in a story about Eagle's Field of Honor ceremony in advance of Memorial Day.
Staff Sgt. Harold Kwan, U.S. Marine Corps, joined the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve in June 1948. Two years later, he was called to active duty and sent to Korea, and served in the Korean War from September 1950 to June 1951. During that time, he participated in the Inchon Landing, push to Seoul, Chosin Reservoir, and Central Korea. Staff Sgt. Kwan ended his time in the USMC Reserve in July 1957. As a civilian, Mr. Kwan worked in the engineering field as a draftsman and a configuration management specialist until he retired in 2003. He has three children and five grandchildren. His wife, Mayumi, recently passed away.
Corporal Ken Rodgers, U.S. Marine Corps, served in the Vietnam War. In March 1967, five months after beginning boot camp in San Diego, Rodgers joined the 1st Battalion, 26th Marine Regiment at Hill 55, southwest of Danang in the Republic of Vietnam. In May 1967, his unit, Bravo Company, deployed to Khe Sanh. Bravo Company was involved in the 77-day siege of Khe Sanh, and Rodgers was awarded a Purple Heart for wounds received in action. He was released from active duty in November 1969.
Mr. Rodgers and his wife, Betty, directed and produced the award-winning documentary film, "Bravo! Common Men, Uncommon Valor," about Ken's company of Marines during the Siege of Khe Sanh.
Colonel Thomas Mahoney, U.S. Air Force Reserve (retired), earned an appointment to the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1979 and served as a USAF officer from 1983 to 2006. Mahoney flew in the opening mission of Operation Desert Storm in January 1991. At the time, he was assigned to EF-111s at Mountain Home Air Force Base. Mahoney later graduated at the top of his class at the USAF Test Pilot School. His awards include a Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal, and Aerial Achievement medals. In civilian life, Mahoney's professional interests include being a partner in Trolley House Ventures and serving on four nonprofit boards. He lives in Boise with his wife, Dr. Valerie Holst, and two teenage sons.
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