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Operation Welcom Home
Antelope Valley Operation Welcome Home Parade get National Attention.
Conceived as an event that would bring closure and cathartic value to Vietnam veterans who never received their “Welcome Home” parade, local organizers patterned this event after a national model. In short order, national chairpersons for “Operation Welcome Home” offered their endorsement and support. In recent weeks additional acknowledgement and support has come from the Associated Press, veteran’s advocates in Washington, D.C., the Pentagon, satellite radio programs and veteran’s websites across the country.

Adding even further encouragement, the California State Senate and Assembly presented a joint resolution to co-chairs Gary Chapman and Ray Santana, calling for ‘public support’ of this historic Veteran’s Day parade.

Patriotic parades are as American as apple pie, however organization of such events usually falls on volunteers. The Antelope Valley has long supported the Armed Forces and actively honors its fallen at ceremonies throughout the valley on Veteran’s Day. Organizers of the “Operation Welcome Home” parade wish to add a special remembrance to this day, characterizing the parade as a celebration, rather than a wake. It offers supporters a unique opportunity for patriotic expression. And for the Vietnam veterans, it offers more. It offers healing.

This ‘life affirming’ event will take place on November 11th in Lancaster, California. Scheduled to begin at 9:00am, the parade will follow a route down Lancaster Boulevard, from 10th Street East to Sierra Highway. Immediately following the parade, there will be a special ceremony, along with entertainment at Boeing Plaza, in Lancaster. A traditional ‘Stand Down’ is also planned for veterans in need, in partnership with Grace Resources.

The Antelope Valley Operation Welcome Home parade will kick-off the event with an F-117 flyover. Vietnam veterans will then lead the parade, introduced by a heart-pounding ‘Drumline”. All branches of the military, past and present, including 100 Patriot Guards, ROTC units, numerous marching bands, color guards, floats and other spectacular entries promise a parade of historical significance. If the national event, held in Las Vegas in 2005 is an indicator, this parade will likely draw Vietnam Veterans and their families from well beyond the Antelope Valley, creating a regional event that will generate considerable media attention.

Beyond the traditional parade entries, organizers hope to present small flags to all onlookers, creating a swath of color along the parade route.

The Antelope Valley Operation Welcome Home parade is one of those events that provides a unique circumstance for the entire community to come together. For some, the event will bring a restoration of faith. Others will find moments of commemoration and remembrance. For still others, the event is a salutatory celebration. For all, it’s an expression of support for those that protect our values by serving in the United States Armed Forces.

Organizers continue to look for financial support and volunteers who wish to participate. For more information, please view the website at www.avwelcomehome.com or call:

Antelope Valley Operation Welcome Home
c/o Chapman Communications

AVOWH event organizers are partnered with local VFW Post 3000 to coordinate the parade. Funds received in excess of operations expenses will be donated to the Lancaster Veterans Home as a gift from VFW Post 3000 and the AVOWH committee. All donations are tax deductible.

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