Even a global pandemic is not going to stop Grand Junction veterans from getting a special Independence Day parade.

You might recall several weeks ago the VA Medical Center in Grand Junction hosted a Memorial Day parade for members of the Community Living Center and their families. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, nursing homes and living centers have been on lockdown which has made life extremely difficult for residents and their families.

The Community Living Center has 16 veteran residents and most of them have families locally who normally see them regularly. However, since the lockdown on March 6, families have not been able to see their loved ones in the facility. The Memorial Day parade gave family members a chance to safely see their loved ones and at the same time gave these veterans something special to enjoy.

Typically, patients at the VA have the opportunity to be bused to the Independence Day Parade in downtown Grand Junction. Obviously, that parade has been canceled, which gives these VA veterans one less opportunity to celebrate the country they so proudly served.

Based upon the success of the Memorial Day parade at the VA, and the happy and emotional outcome, another parade has been planned to celebrate the Fourth of July. The parade will feature the VFW, a Color Guard, a band, horses, therapy dogs, classic cars, motorcycles, firetrucks, and most importantly- the families of the veteran residents. These veterans will be seeing their family members for the first time since that parade in May.

The parade is happening on Thursday at 10:00 at the VA, and although this is not a public parade, I wanted to bring attention to these veterans and to everyone who is participating in the parade. Grand Junction is a community that loves its veterans and this small parade is another shining example of that fact. We are extremely grateful to all of our veterans in the Grand Valley who have served to protect and defend our nation.

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