On November 9, the Fort Vancouver National Trust will host the 27th annual Veterans Parade. Every year, more than 100 units and 2,500 participants march in the parade. It is an opportunity to celebrate patriotism, and honor local and national veterans.
Aside from the palpable patriotism, the coffee and donuts so graciously provided by the Red Cross, and the typical Pacific Northwest weather, one highlight of every parade is the Grand Marshal selection. This year, the parade will have two Grand Marshals; married for 53 years, and long-time patriots, Les and Julie Burger.
Les and Julie have lived in Vancouver for 14 years, and can be seen all around the community. Julie has been a volunteer for the Red Cross for 47 years. She was a member of the national board, and she has responded to many national and international disasters, such as Hurricane Katrina, Nicaragua, and most recently Hurricane Sandy. Above all, her passion is service to armed forces. Julie states that between her three sons and her husband, the Burger family has contributed more than 100 years to the military.
Les, who is now retired from the military, has quite the involvement in the community as well. He has been commissioner on the Medical Quality Assurance Commission since 2006. He is a member of the Madigan Foundation, which provides support for military service members and families, active and retired, and he is an adviser to the National Center for Rehabilitative Auditory Research, just to name a few. Both Julie and Les’ vast community and military involvement made them the perfect choice for this year’s Veterans Parade grand marshals.
Because of Les’ military career, Julie and Les have moved 23 times in their 53 years of marriage. They have lived in Vancouver the longest, and love what the city has to offer. “It’s one of the most patriotic cities we’ve ever lived in,” Julie declared. The public shows it by supporting the patriotic events, like the parade.
“We’re honored and humbled,” Les replied. “We have gone to every parade since we’ve lived here, and it’s a very heartening event. I love chatting with folks who have served. It is a wonderful occasion.”
For more information on the Veterans Parade, visit http://fortvan.org/veterans-parade.html