YUCCA VALLEY -- Combat Center Color Guard, Marine Corps Communication-Electronics School, 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, Provost Marshal’s Office, Naval Hospital Color Guard, Combat Center Fire Department, Combat Logistic Battalion 7 and 3rd Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment represented the Combat Center with vehicles and marching displays. The participants from the Combat Center were accompanied by music performed by Marine Band San Diego.
“Our community is honored to have the military in our parade,” said Wanda Stadum, Yucca Valley Chamber of Commerce president. “It’s inspiring to young and old [people] to see the military in the community.”
Throughout the parade, military vehicles from different units were displayed. Vehicles were provided by CLB-7, 3rd LAR and 3/11. Master Gunnery Sgt. Stephen K. Lowe, senior enlisted advisor, Marine Corps Tactics and Operations Group, represented the Combat Center as the parade’s Grand Marshal.
“The military participation gave the town a boost in patriotic [spirit],” Stadum said. “We had one of our best outcomes since the early ‘90s.”
Yucca Valley’s Annual Grubstake Days is a traditional three-day festival embracing the mining heritage of the Yucca Valley community. Events held for the celebration include a beard growing competition, horseshoe throwing, kickball tournament and table tennis tournament.
This year was the 65th anniversary of the parade, hosted by the Yucca Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Town of Yucca Valley. It was the first time the parade had a patriotic theme and a large participation of military service members.
“Being able to represent the Marine Corps as a whole is an honor,” said Sgt. Christopher Decosier, color sergeant, Combat Center Color Guard. “We are here to show the community that the military is here to support them.”
According to Stadum, the Yucca Valley Chamber of Commerce plans to continue having military participation in the parade.
“The military is the nation’s frontline of defense,” said Wayne Stamm, parade spectator and a Joshua Tree, Calif. native. “It’s critical we support [service members] and understand that they are people just like us with the courage to fight for our country.”