Dayton VA hosting parade for veterans decades after last one

Downtown concert on Saturday also scheduled for veterans

The Dayton VA will host a parade for veterans that will include a B-25 flyover Saturday at the 4100 W. Third St. campus in Dayton.

The public is invited to the 10 a.m. event, and if you’re concerned about expected cooler temperatures, fret not, said Dayton VA Director Mark Murdock: There will be buildings near the parade route that will be open for those who wish to warm up.

The campus hosted a parade marking Veterans Day many years ago and Murdock said his team felt it was time to bring the event back.

ExploreVeterans Day events to honor those who served

“Veterans Day is celebrated in many different ways,” Murdock said. “It’s really about celebration and thankfulness, when you get down to it.”

The parade will feature the Air Force Band of Flight performing at the VA campus gazebo, an equestrian team, food trucks, a classic car show, a visit by Santa and Mrs. Claus and much more. Motorcycle riders and veterans service organizations, such as the American Legion, will be there, and a resource fair, a chance for veterans to learn more about VA benefits, is also on the schedule.

Dayton Mayor Jeff Mims, a Vietnam War-era veteran, will be parade grand marshal.

“We thought this would be a great way to bring people together,” Murdock said.

The campus will also have a virtual event Friday, starting at the traditional time of 11 a.m., on the center’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/DaytonVAMC. Murdock said it will be a brief ceremony meant to tell veterans simply, “Thank you.”

‘Veterans are still dealing with issues’

Also Saturday from 2 to 5 p.m.: The International Peace Museum, 10 N. Ludlow Street, on downtown Dayton’s Courthouse Square, is hosting a “Thanks to Vets” concert involving three bands who are veteran-fronted, organizer Dennis Geehan said.

While the museum fronts on Courthouse Square, the concert will be inside the museum.

Beavercreek resident Geehan, an Army and Vietnam War veteran, said he plays the music as “therapy” — to voice his joy and to distract from his physical pain.

“I share the message that veterans are still dealing with issues from their service, and playing with people who support that message has just been a wonderful way for me to try to work some things out,” he said.

A partnership with a peace museum is natural for veterans, Geehan said. “Veterans want peace more than anybody, so we just thought this would be an appropriate thing to do.”

The concert will be live-streamed online on the museum’s Facebook (www.facebook.com/DaytonInternationalPeaceMuseum) page , but there will be about 100 seats in the museum available for military members and veterans to watch in person.

The museum is also teaming up with The Foodbank Inc. to discuss food insecurity, especially insecurity impacting military members and veterans. Geehan is a foodbank volunteer.

The museum is offering free admission to military members/veterans all day Friday and Saturday. Simply show a veteran’s or military ID.

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