Army Veteran, Mayor Allan Litman, has been Mesquite’s Mayor for a while, but not nearly as long as he’s been extending great efforts to another important mission that’s near and dear to him . Mayor Litman extends great efforts to pay tribute to Veteran’s all over the country right here in Mesquite.
Mayor Litman along with Harold and Pat Straley have been organizing the Annual Veteran’s Day Parade for the past 13 years. Neither of the Straleys were involved in this year’s parade but there is an incredible lineup for the fourteenth year none the less.
This year, with the assistance of Chuck Caldwell, the parade scheduled for Nov. 4 at 10 a.m., will host more than 60 groups/participants along with The Virgin Valley High School Band and Jr. ROTC members from from Bonanza and Las Vegas High Schools.
They have chosen Robert L. Barquist (last year’s Uncle Sam) for the honorable position of Grand Marshall.
Barquist was born June 4, 1947 in Boulder City, NV and raised in Henderson. He graduated from Basic High School in June 1965 and joined the US Navy in Feb. 1967. After graduating basic he was sent to Hospital Corps School in San Diego, CA. where he spent nearly three and a half years. In 1970 he attended Fleet Marine Forces School at Camp Pendleton, CA. and was then transferred to Third Marine Amphibious Force, Second Combined Action Group near Hoi An in the Dai Loc district, arriving in Vietnam December 24, 1970. He was assigned to Combined Action Patrol 2-2-2 as the platoon Hospital Corpsman.
During the day Corpsman Barquist would often see patients from the villages and was involved in Med Caps immunizing villagers against plague and other diseases.
Corpsman Barquist was involved in several other actions, but the one on March 15, 1971 was his most memorable. One of his marines triggered a booby-trapped mortar round, severely injuring him. He was awarded the Bronze Star with Combat ‘V’ for Valor for his actions.
After four years, ten months and six days, not that he was counting, Barquist was released from active duty. He went on to use his Navy training in Laboratory Medicine to become a Medical Laboratory Technologist, a career that carried him through to his retirement from Mesa View Regional Hospital where he served as the Laboratory Administrative Director until 2012.
The parade will start on Willow St. and run along Mesquite Blvd. to Arrowhead.