SJ on display for city’s Veterans Day parade
By By Dr. Roy Heidicker, 4th Fighter Wing historian
/ Published November 17, 2006
SEYMOUR JOHNSON AIR FORCE BASE, N.C. -- What do you get when the best city and the best base in the whole world join forces to honor our veterans? You get a wonderful parade for the whole family to enjoy. Saturday proved to be a perfect day for the Goldsboro Veterans Day Parade on Center Street. The weather was warm, sunny and clear and the crowds turned out to honor America's veterans.
The theme for the parade was the 50th anniversary of Seymour Johnson Air Force Base. Senior Master Sgt Phillip Mack, the parade point of contact from Seymour Johnson, ensured the base and wing contributed more units, vehicles and personnel than ever before.
Goldsboro and neighboring towns provided high school marching bands, drill teams, Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops, fire trucks and more.
The Grand Marshall for the parade was the 4th Fighter Wing Commander, Colonel Steven Kwast. From the reviewing stand, flanked by his family on one side, and several wing chiefs on the other, Colonel Kwast took and returned the salutes of the marching units with enthusiasm.
The base fire department sent a fire truck and a hazmat vehicle. Their R-11, a 6,000 gallon refueler, joined the parade. The Airmen Leadership School provided a 24 member marching unit, and a combined marching unit from the wing had another 36 personnel.
The Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit contact, Master Sgt. Larry Price provided an array of equipment. This consisted of the new Bomb Squad Emergency Response Vehicle, the F6A robot and the Segway Human Transporter. Senior Airman Scott Rice walked the parade route wearing the EOD 8 Bomb Suit that weighs over 70 pounds.
Next year, the wing will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 4th Fighter Wing at Seymour Johnson.