Las Vegas parade to honor veterans Monday

The largest Veterans Day parade west of the Mississippi River will roll up Fourth Street on Monday, showcasing a new theme as well as a new sponsor.

With this year’s Aviation Nation air show at Nellis Air Force Base canceled as a victim of government cutbacks under the sequester law, the Air Force will be saluted as the parade theme, said Billy Stojack of VFW Post 1753, the parade’s organizer.

He said one of the top brass from Nellis, Brig. Gen. Stephen Whiting, vice commander of the Air Force Warfare Center, will review the the pack of 5,000 parade participants from more than 100 entries.

With no air show to attend, Stojack expects a flag-waving crowd of 30,000 to 40,000 will line the parade route on Fourth between Hoover Street and Stewart Avenue.

“It’s the largest Veterans Day parade West of the Mississippi and the second largest in the nation according to CNN,” Stojack said.

He said the nation’s largest Veterans Day parade is held in New York City.

Plenty of military vehicles, emergency response trucks, bands, Junior ROTC units, floats and entries from various veterans organizations will join the parade, which launches from Fourth and Hoover streets at 10 a.m.

In addition to third-year sponsor Humana, DeWalt Tools has come on board to support this year’s parade.

During a 9 a.m. ceremony Tuesday at VFW Post 1753 on Las Vegas Boulevard, DeWalt officials will donate thousands of dollars worth of power tools to the post to set up a lending library for veterans, a pilot program by DeWalt and the first in the country.

“Some fellow may be hired as a carpenter or auto mechanic and might not have tools and can borrow some from here,” said Stojack, a gunner’s mate-guns Navy veteran who served three tours in the Vietnam War.

Contact reporter Keith Rogers at krogers@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0308.