When Vietnam veterans began returning home from overseas, many came home to very little government support.
"We never want to see that happen again in this country, ever, ever, ever," Delaware County Council Vice Chairman Mario Civera said Monday, at a press conference for , a career and awareness fair for veterans.
, and a host of government officials have teamed up to host Saturday's event, which aims to educate veterans—especially those who have served since 9/11—about all the benefits to which they are entitled.
The event, which runs from 12 to 5 p.m. on the front lawn of the County Courthouse, also includes a parade and flag passing ceremony, during which American flags will be passed from older to younger veterans, to symbolize gratitude for their service to the country. The parade begins at 3 p.m. and runs along State Street.
Two Delaware County veterans have been selected as the grand marshals for the parade: Lt. Col. Mark O'Hanlon and Cpl. Russell L. "Rusty" Carty.
A press release from the county continues:
Lt. Col. Mark O’Hanlon, of Nether Providence Township, a member of the Pennsylvania National Guard who served in Iraq in 2009, and Cpl. Russell L. “Rusty” Carter, of Springfield Township, who served in Afghanistan as a member of the 101st Airborne Division, will lead the parade and participate in a veterans outreach fair outside the Delaware County Courthouse.
Cpl. Carter was awarded a Purple Heart for wounds he received in combat in November 2010. However, he was more seriously injured when he returned to his unit in January 2011 when the vehicle in which he was returning from a mission overturned, leaving him paralyzed from the chest down.
Lt. Col. O’Hanlon, a member of the 1st Battalion, 111th Infantry Division of the 56th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, commanded 700 troops during a tour of duty in Iraq. He had previously served on active duty in Bosnia in 2002-03.
For more information on the parade, see , and take a look at the video above.