Army veteran William “Bill” Benson, a longtime member of Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 647, will lead the West Haven, Conn., Memorial Day parade as Grand Marshal today. The procession of veterans, dignitaries and bands will step off on a 1.5-mile course starting at 10:30 a.m. local time.
Benson was tapped by parade organizers at the West Haven Veterans Council for his years of service to the Army, fellow veterans and the community. “On this occasion, it is appropriate to remember those who did not return from Vietnam and other wars while also recognizing the many veterans, like Bill Benson, who live and work among us,” said Mayor Nancy R. Rossi in a release. “Thank you for your service, Bill, and welcome home!”
Benson was instrumental in raising funds to build the Vietnam Veterans Memorial at Bradley Point Park, and continues to help maintain its grounds today. “I love West Haven, and this is a very great honor,” Benson said in a release. “The honor is not only important to me, but to all Vietnam veterans. It was an honor to serve this country anyway I possibly could.”