PACOIMA, Calif. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles District was among the more than 100 entries in the San Fernando Valley Veterans Day Parade Nov. 11 in Pacoima, Calif. Bands, drill units and service organizations from throughout the region participated in the ninth annual event.
"This parade is as energized and exciting as any Veterans Day event you'd find in America's heartland," said Lt. Col. Alex Deraney, deputy commander. "As a U.S. serviceman, I was personally grateful for the time and effort it took to recognize the sacrifices of our Veterans in such a meaningful way."
Representing the District on the reviewing stand were Deraney and his wife Marisa. Bobber, the Water Safety Dog, and his escort Fany Anderson, safety specialist, drove the parade route in their customized awareness vehicle.
“Bobber and the safety team always support our outreach events,” said Jennie Ayala, outreach coordinator. “Real world events prevented us from having a larger presence. Our 47-foot Emergency Command and Control Vehicle and several staff members have deployed in response to Hurricane Sandy support.”
At the parade’s conclusion, attendees were treated to a carnival and information booths for community groups and service organizations like the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Veterans Administration provided information for veterans and their families at the Richie Valens Recreation Center.
The Deraneys said they like to keep their family involved in the local community and what better way than helping veterans. Among others, they visited the San Fernando–Santa Clarita Valleys’ Habitat for Humanity booth to learn about volunteer opportunities with the Habitat for Heroes program.
"A truly touching outpouring of support by the people and leadership of the San Fernando Valley and local communities," said Deraney. "For those who think that Southern California has a cooler approach to supporting our troops, I would challenge them to attend the next San Fernando Valley Veterans Day Parade."