Day of Remembrance

The 15th annual Daisy Mountain Veterans Parade honors Navy submariners this fall

By Brandie Bosworth

Howard Doyle served as a submariner from 1968 to 1977 during the Cold and Vietnam wars. He enlisted in the Navy’s nuclear power program and served aboard the submarines U.S.S. Nereus and U.S.S. M.G. Vallejo. On the latter, he assisted with converting missiles into Poseidon missiles.

The crew on the submarines were called “deterrent patrols”—ready to shoot as soon as the National Command Center gave the order. Their home base was in Charleston, South Carolina, and they were stationed near Holy Loch, Scotland, Doyle says.

Submariners like Doyle are being honored as the grand marshals of the Daisy Mountain Veterans Parade in Anthem on Saturday, November 9, and the activities that follow.

The parade

Established in Anthem in 2005, the Daisy Mountain Veterans Parade honors the sacrifices veterans made to protect others’ freedoms through their service.

“We are made up of veterans and non-veterans who want to support veteran causes,” says Dennis Salsbury, Daisy Mountain Veterans president.

According to Salsbury, the parade was passed on to Tom and Mary Ann Derryberry so the support would continue. Next month is the event’s 15th anniversary. The route begins at Gavilan Peak Parkway/Memorial Drive and ends at the Anthem Community Center.

“We want people to come out and park a lawn chair,” says Josh Miller, a member of the Daisy Mountain Veterans committee for planning the parade.

Miller helps organize the event’s registration, entry and staging the lots where the parade begins and ends at the Cross of Christ Church and Christ Church of the Valley.

Parade registration deadline is October 20, and available on the Daisy Mountain Veterans’ website, daisymtnvets.org. The registration fee is $35 for the public. Veterans do not have to pay.

“So far, we have about 30 registrations. The lowest amount I’ve seen is 70, so with this year’s registration numbers so far I project there will be around 90 total registrations,” Miller says.

The North Valley Young Marines Color Guard and Daisy Mountain Fire Department always take point in the parade, followed by groups who pass out flags and the grand marshals.

This year marks the first time the parade has collaborated with the charity picnic and cornhole competition put on by the Anthem Area Chamber of Commerce.

Admission is free for the picnic and guests are welcome to bring coolers, blankets and food. Neither alcohol nor glass is permitted. The Rotary Club of Anthem will have a beer garden with alcohol for purchase along with food from various vendors.

Registration for the cornhole tournament is available through the Anthem Area Chamber of Commerce. David Voss & Big Country will play music and there will be bounce houses.

“We want everyone to come out and enjoy the hometown feel we have come to know and love while supporting our veterans,” says Heather Maxwell, executive director of the Anthem Chamber of Commerce.

Perch Base USSVI

Perch Base has been a part of the parade since its second year, Doyle says. Its float is a 1/15 scale model of the nuclear-powered U.S.S. Phoenix named after the city.

The original Phoenix was a Los Angeles-class submarine that was 362 feet long. Doyle has participated every year Perch Base has been in attendance.

Perch Base was the first submariner base in Arizona and facilitated five other base openings in Tucson, Casa Grande, Prescott, Snowflake and Yuma. Its members range from WWII, Korean War and Cold War veterans to more current conflicts in Iraq and Iran. Its oldest member is 99 years old.

What the parade means
to veterans

The registration fees for parade participants and sponsorship costs help raise money for the Daisy Mountain Veterans.

“We are a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization,” Salsbury says. “If there is an excess of revenue over expenditures for the parade account, that money would be used to fund other programs.”

These programs offer assistance to veterans with problems dealing with mental health, finances, benefits and transportation.

A Daisy Mountain Veterans Board member works with the Arizona Military and Veterans Benefits Office to aid veterans who have questions or need help applying for benefits, Salsbury says.

Miller attributes the parade’s success to the community support.

“A ton of work goes on behind the scenes for this,” Miller says. “It involves a slew of people who make it happen.”

Daisy Mountain Veterans work with other local veterans organizations such as Anthem’s American Legion Post 128 and Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 12031 as well as Youth for Troops and North Valley Young Marines.

“(These organizations) provide us with volunteer opportunities and to draw on our volunteers,” Salsbury says.

The organizations work together on various veterans events, like the parade, which gives veterans a chance to interact with community members.

For veterans like Doyle, the parade means more than simply being another Veterans Day event.

“It’s a nice feeling,” Doyle says. “A lot of veterans from the Vietnam War were not looked upon kindly from the majority of the people. Having people recognize and honor their contributions veterans made feels good.”   

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