Grand Marshals for the VA Veterans Day Parade 2012


PHOENIX  , AZ — Valley  Veterans of service from World War  II through Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF – Afghanistan) will  be honored by the Phoenix VA Health Care System (PVAHCS), as part of the VA Veterans Day Parade.

Veterans Grand Marshals Introduction/Display Opening:

  • 10 a.m.
  • Oct. 11,Thurs., 2012
  • Carl T. Hayden VA  Medical Center, Phoenix  , Ambulatory Care Clinic Lobby
  • NE Corner of Third Street  and Indian School  Road

Serving as  Veterans Grand Marshals in  the VA  Veterans Day  Parade will  be:

  • Sam Fierstein, of Chandler, who   served with the U.S.   Navy   during World War II seeing action in many of the major battles of the Pacific Theater.  Fierstein is a member of the Jewish War Veterans.
  • Peter Haas, of Scottsdale, a U.S. Army veteran of the Korean War, Purple Heart Medal Recipient and Past Chapter Commander with the Military Order of the Purple Heart.
  • Thomas Collins, of Chandler, a retired Lt. Colonel, U.S. Air Force, who served in Vietnam and was held as a Prisoner of War by the North Vietnamese for more than seven years.
  • April Wise, of Phoenix, who served with the U.S. Navy for 13 years, including Operation Enduring Freedom,. Wise suffers from both Military Sexual Trauma (MST) and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  She credits the therapies from VA in saving her life. (Unfortunately Wise has been called out of town during this event but is available by phone for interviews)
  • Cooper (Nels) Brannan, of Sun City, Corporal and platoon leader in the U.S. Marine Corps in Operation Iraqi Freedom, Purple Heart Recipient. The loss of part of his left hand in combat didn’t prevent him from moving on to fulfill his dream of playing professional baseball. Brannan signed with the San Diego Padres in February 2007.

Celebrity Grand Marshal:  It is an honor for VA to have Entertainer Wayne Newton as our Celebrity Grand Marshal.  Newton has a big heart for the military and Veterans serving with the USO and performing for the troops at home and abroad.  He now serves as Chairman of the Celebrity Circle for the USO.  Newton will be in the Parade on November 12th. The annual VA Veterans Day Parade will kick off at 11 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 12 (traditionally the parade is held on Nov. 11, Veterans Day, but moves to the federal holiday on Nov. 12 this year). The parade is supported by Honoring Arizona’s Veterans, a charitable 501c3 who supports VA and the VA Veterans Day Parade knowing our Veterans deserve recognition and support for their service to our country.

The parade theme for 2012 is “Healing Wounds, Honoring Their Sacrifice.”  Now in its 16th year, the VA Veterans Day Parade is one of the premier Veterans Day parades in the nation, with more than 40,000 spectators.  The Phoenix-based commemoration is one of the largest such events in the nation and has been designated as a Regional Site for celebrating the holiday.

The parade will begin at the Carl T. Hayden VA Medical Center grounds at Seventh Street and Indian School Road in Phoenix. The parade will head north on Seventh Street at Montecito, turn west on Camelback Road, and turn north on Central Avenue to Montebello, ending at Bethany Home.

About the Phoenix VA Health Care System
The Phoenix VA Health Care System has been serving veterans in Maricopa County since 1951. The Carl T. Hayden Veterans Affairs Medical Center, which is part of the Phoenix VA Health Care System, is a level one tertiary care facility that serves more than 80,000 Veterans in central Arizona through the main medical center and seven community clinics. The VA Medical Center provides acute medical, surgical and psychiatric inpatient care, as well as rehabilitation medicine and neurological care.  PVAHCS has an annual operating budget of more than $450 million and is proud to provide health care to all eligible Veterans. Veterans interested in discussing their health care needs may call (602) 222-6508 or register on line at



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