Two local veterans will serve as this year's grand marshals for the CNY Veterans Parade and Expo in Syracuse.
88-year-old Dave Born, of Whitesboro, and 27-year-old Staff Sergeant Brandon Gilbert, of Homer, will lead the parade on Saturday, November 10 at noon at the New York State Fairgrounds.
Born flew P-51 Mustangs escorting bombers over Germany in World War II. He joined the Army Air Corp in 1942 with a desire to become a pilot. He served three years active duty and about two years as a reservist. In 1947, he joined the New York Air Guard as an original member of the 138th Fighter Squadron. He retired in February 1963.
Staff Sergeant Gilbert is a National Guardsman serving as a Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC) with the 274th Air Support Operations Squadron at Hancock Field. Since 2010, he has volunteered for two Afghanistan combat deployments. He joined the Air National guard in June 2005, and recently enlisted until June 2017.
"There are so many veterans in our community who have served our country over the ages in many different capacities," said Assemblyman Bill Magnarelli, host of the CNY Veterans Parade and Expo. "They all share the dedication, courage and valor that these two veterans are being honored for embodying."
This year's parade will have about 90 participating groups. It will kick off at noon. The expo will be held from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. in the Center of Progress Building. It will feature activities and historical displays.