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Latino Heritage Parade & Jamaica Festival
October 14, 2017 @ 11:00 am - 4:00 pmFree
The Human Services and Recreation Department and the Latino Heritage Parade Committee invite you to join us for the 19th Annual Latino Heritage Parade and Jamaica (Festival) on Saturday, October 14th. This free family event draws over 1,000 participants and spectators. The parade beings at 11:00 a.m. and is followed by a celebration consisting of cultural activities, food, and dance from 12:00 to 4:00 p.m.
This year the parade has a new route! That will begin at the intersection of Los Robles Avenue and Prescott Street. The parade route then heads south on Los Robles Avenue and culminates at Villa Parke’s Multi-Purpose Field with a Jamaica featuring art exhibits, artisans, educational/historical displays, entertainment, food, community booths, and much more. This year’s theme is “Embracing Our Latino Military Service Men and Women.”
This year’s Grand Marshal is Command Sgt. Ramon Rodriguez, he is a highly decorated Vietnam Veteran who served our country for 23 years and is a nominee for the Congressional Medal of Honor – the nation’s highest honor. Command Sgt. Rodriguez was nominated for the Medal of Honor in 1982 after earning three Silver Stars, three Bronze Stars and five Purple Hearts during his 32 months of service in Vietnam. Because the nomination process is long and complicated, requiring input from soldiers all over the country, and in addition, approval from Congress and the Pentagon, it is not clear when or if he will receive the medal. “I’m excited about the award. I hope it goes through,” Rodriguez, 55 said. “The big thing is it’s not just for me. It brings up Vietnam in a good light for all the people who were there and didn’t get the recognition they deserved.”
Community Grand Marshal
Our 2017 Community Grand Marshal is Staff Sgt. Hector Rodriquez who served honorably in the United States Army. Following his family’s footsteps, Mr. Rodriguez enlisted in the Army after high school, under the Delayed Entry Program in 1991 and entered basic training at Fort Leonard Wood, on January 28, 1992. From 1992 – 1997, Mr. Rodriguez, served on Active Duty and in the Army Reserves. In 1999, Mr. Rodriquez re-enlisted in the Army Reserves and was shortly activated and deployed to Kosovo in 2000, in support of Operation Joint Guardian. While in country, he served as an assistant team leader on a Tactical PSYOP Team (TPT), and leveraged his civilian work experience to be a key contributor within the Product Development Detachment providing input with the concept, design, development and dissemination of numerous mixed media products in support of Information Operations objectives throughout MNB – East.
Upon his return from deployment, Mr. Rodriquez was twice deployed to Afghanistan and served in a variety of leadership roles in support of both Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-Afghanistan (CJSOTF-A) and Combined Joint Task Force – 76 (10th Mountain Division). In 2007, Mr. Rodriquez ended his military service at the rank of Staff Sergeant (E6) after serving a total of 13 years.
About the Hispanic Medal of Honor Wall
The Hispanic Medal of Honor Legacy of Valor Display exhibit will be displayed to the public at Villa Parke Community Center from Sunday, October 8, 2017, to Parade Day October 14, 2017. The Hispanic Medal of Honor Society is dedicated to promoting an awareness of the patriotism, gratitude, and loyalty, which Hispanic Americans who have served in the military, for the United States.
The Hispanic Medal of Honor Society focuses on the stories of the sacrifice of Latinos. We believe it is necessary to give visibility to their stories because the public is just not aware of the fact that Latinos have been contributing to the strength and safety of the United States since its foundation.
For more information, please contact Villa-Parke Community Center at (626) 744-6530.