Coronado Vietnam Veterans will be appearing in the 2022 edition of Coronado’s Independence Day Parade. A number of these vets first gathered on Vietnam Veteran’s Day in 2021 to pay a special remembrance to their teammates and fellow veterans who served in the Vietnam Conflict from February 1961 until May 7, 1975.
This small group, which has grown by word-of-mouth, met again earlier this year on March 29th, the National Vietnam Veterans Memorial Day of Remembrance. The Coronado 4th of July Committee asked the group of veterans to participate in this year’s parade.
Coronado is and was the hometown for a number of Vietnam Veterans. The town itself was also very involved throughout the ’60s and early ’70s. Importantly, at least three recipients of our nation’s highest military honor, the Medal of Honor, shipped out from Coronado or called Coronado home.
During the Vietnam Conflict, the Naval Amphibious Base served as the training location for Special Warfare Operators, SEAL/UDT, as well as landing and amphibious operating units. Swift Boat Training School, Special Boat Unit 1, Marine Forward Combat Air Control School and numerous other brown-water commands were also based there.
North Island Naval Air Station was home base for both carriers and carrier fighter squadrons as well as Helicopter Squadrons, Navy swimmers, Explosive Ordnance Detachments and the Navy’s Survival Evasion, Resistance and Escape School, called SERE.
The beneficiary selected by these veterans for this year is the Vietnam Unit Memorial Fund (501-c3) dedicated to the 2564 Sailors and Coast Guard who gave their lives in Vietnam. Vietnam Vet, Chuck Chaldekas serves as a Board Member of the fund. Their monument is located at the Naval Amphibious Base. It is well with visiting. The Monument is composed of a 60-foot curved wall honoring all of those sailors and Coast Guard. The monument has on display a Swift Boat, known as Patrol Craft Fast (PCF), a River Patrol Boat, (PBR) and a Command and Control Boat (CCB) representing the brown-water Navy.
This group of Veterans marching in Unit 36 in the parade lineup are joined by their fellow Vietnam veterans who will appear in the USS Midway Float Unit 37 in the parade. Over six members of the USS Midway Volunteers marching are members of both groups.
If you are a Vietnam Vet and would like to join your fellow veterans in the parade, or if you would like to volunteer and drive your golf cart for one of the Vets, please contact the writer below: