SJ preps for Veterans Day parade
By By Dr. Roy Heidicker, 4th Fighter Wing historian
/ Published October 27, 2006
SEYMOUR JOHNSON AIR FORCE BASE, N.C. - -- The year 2006 continues to be a year of celebration for Seymour Johnson AFB and the City of Goldsboro. It was in 1956, fifty years ago, that Seymour Johnson became a permanent Air Force Base.
To honor this occasion, the 4th Fighter Wing and the city of Goldsboro have combined forces to put together the greatest of American traditions of celebration: a parade!
This year the theme of the Goldsboro Veterans Day Parade is the 50th anniversary of Seymour Johnson AFB. For over forty years Goldsboro has held a Veterans Day Parade. In the past, Seymour Johnson AFB has contributed some elements to the parade, but nothing truly substantial. All that has changed this year, largely due to the efforts of Senior Master Sgt. Phillip Mack, 4th Civil Engineer Squadron. Sergeant Mack is the point of contact for Seymour Johnson for this year's Veteran's Day Parade.
Team Seymour has already assembled an impressive list of vehicles and marching groups for this year's parade. These include several vehicles from our Fire Department, a vehicle and a robot from explosive ordnance disposal, two vehicles from pertroleum, oil and lubricant, and marching units. The Airmen Leadership School is providing a 24 member marching unit and the 4th FW will have a 36 member marching unit. Several other organizations on base, including volunteer organizations, have expressed a desire to help make the 2006 Veteran's Day Parade the biggest and best ever.
If you are part of an organization that wants to participate in this year's parade, contact Sergeant Mack via email or at (919) 722-1058. Let's face it, the only thing more fun than watching a parade, is being in a parade. If your unit wants to show off their fancy marching skills, you have some beautiful horses that love a big crowd, or if you have a vehicle that would look good in a parade, get in touch with Sergeant Mack.
To top it all off, the Grand Marshall for this year's parade is our own 4th FW Commander, Colonel Steven L. Kwast! The parade takes place November 11. The parade begins at the Civilian Personnel Office Building and the old firehouse on Center Street and proceeds down Center Street. Invocations and proclamations will take place at 10:30 a.m. and the parade itself kicks off at 11 a.m. Traditionally, the parade lasts about one hour.
In the past approximately 3000 - 5000 people attended the parade, a good crowd for Goldsboro but nowhere near the size of the crowd that attended this year's Wings Over Wayne air show. Bring your family and your friends to the Goldsboro 2006 Veteran's Day Parade. Come out and help celebrate fifty years of community and camaraderie between our great base and our wonderful neighbors in the great City of Goldsboro.