The 42nd VFW Veterans Day Parade will take place in Ruskin on Saturday, November 13 at 11 a.m.

A more than 40-year tradition that had to take a break in 2020 due to the pandemic is back this year and will be better than ever. The VFW 6287 is hosting its annual VFW Veterans Day Parade on Saturday, November 13 at 11 a.m., and members of the public are encouraged to come out and attend.

According to the VFW’s Tom Campbell, this will be the 42nd time the parade has taken place to honor U.S. veterans and their contribution to the community.

“We invite everyone to attend,” said Campbell. “There will be floats, bands, cheering and laughter.”

The parade will start at U.S. Hwy. 41 and 5th St. and will end on 11th St. at Saint Anne Catholic Church.

“After the parade, there will be awards, live music, local food trucks and much, much more at the VFW Post,” said Campbell.

Local students will also participate as Buddy Poppy King and Queen, chosen based on patriotic essays submitted by students from local schools.

Campbell believes that one of the highlights of the event will be the parade’s grand marshal.

“Our grand marshal is a Medal of Honor recipient named Robert O’Malley,” said Campbell. “He is a Vietnam veteran who saved the lives of several marines. One of these Marines he saved is Robert (Bob) Field. Bob is a member of our post here in Ruskin.”

Campbell feels this will be memorable for all who attend the parade.

“Having a Medal of Honor recipient as your grand marshal is special enough, but to have one with a personal connection is really rare,” he said.

The VFW Post 6287 is located at 5120 N. U.S. Hwy. 41 in Ruskin and can be reached at 645-2935. For more information about the group, which traces its roots back to 1899, when veterans of the Spanish-American War and the Philippine Insurrection founded local organizations to secure tights and benefits for their service, visit www.vfw6287.org.

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Kate Quesada is the Multimedia Manager for the Osprey Observer Newspapers. She has been working for the paper in various positions since 2005 when she graduated with her Masters degree in mass communications. She lives in Valrico with her husband Mike and son Dylan.