San Jose na­tive to lead Vet­er­ans Day Pa­rade

The Mercury News Weekend - - LOCAL NEWS - Sal Pizarro Colum­nist 100TH AR­MISTICE AN­NIVER­SARY

U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Gar­rett Yee — a San Jose na­tive who served three tours of duty in the Mid­dle East — will be the grand mar­shal of Sun­day’s Vet­er­ans Day Pa­rade in San Jose, the city’s 100th cel­e­bra­tion of the ar­mistice that ended World War I.

Yee calls it a “re­mark­able honor” to come home to rep­re­sent both the U.S. Army and the Depart­ment of De­fense in San Jose’s mile­stone event. The pa­rade will start at noon at High­way 87 and West Santa Clara Street, fol­low­ing an 11 a.m. cer­e­mony at Plaza de Ce­sar Chavez. The pa­rade route runs east to Mar­ket Street and then south past the Tech Mu­seum to San Car­los Street.

Born at San Jose Hospi­tal, just blocks from the pa­rade route he’ll be on Sun­day, Yee, 53, lived with his grand­par­ents in the city for a few years be­fore mov­ing to Fre­mont, where he grad­u­ated from Kennedy High School in 1983. But his San Jose roots run deep. His par­ents, Gil­bert and Michiko, met and mar­ried at Wes­ley Methodist Church in San Jose’s Ja­pan­town. And while he grad­u­ated from Santa Clara Uni­ver­sity, his wife, Maria — an­other Kennedy High alum — went to San Jose State, as did Alissa, one of their three daugh­ters.

“I am ex­tremely proud to wit­ness how the San Jose com­mu­nity con­tin­ues to sup­port our vet­er­ans,” said Yee, who has served as the mil­i­tary deputy to the Army chief in­for­ma­tion of­fi­cer at the Pen­tagon since 2015. “Here in this com­mu­nity and all around the coun­try, vet­er­ans serve as teach­ers, doc­tors, engi­neers, so­cial work­ers, com­mu­nity lead­ers, first re­spon­ders and even elected of­fi­cials.”

Yee has ac­tu­ally been one of the elected of­fi­cials, hav­ing served as a trustee on the Ohlone Col­lege board since 2003, but he has never been far from mil­i­tary ser­vice. Over the past 12 years, he’s been de­ployed to Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait. Yee said this par­tic­u­lar pa­rade day is es­pe­cially im­por­tant as it both

marks the 100th an­niver­sary of the end of World War I and pro­vides a way to say thank you to veter- ans and their fam­i­lies.

“We are all in one fam­ily — those who have worn, still wear and sup­port the uni­form. And this pa­rade is a re­mark­able way to honor all of those men and women who wore the uni­form and served proudly,” Yee said. VET­ER­ANS’ TRIB­UTE CON­TIN­UES » Fol­low­ing San Jose’s pa­rade on Sun­day, San­tana Row will again host Honor on the Row from 2 to 6 p.m. The out­door shop­ping cen­ter will have a Gold Star Me­mo­rial to honor the fallen, a dis­play of mil­i­tary ve­hi­cles and clas­sic cars, and a care pack­age col­lec­tion booth. It’s free and open to the pub­lic. MEAN, GREEN AND COM­ING TO CAMP­BELL » With “The Grinch” open­ing in the­aters Fri­day, the ti­tle char­ac­ter will be mak­ing an ap­pear­ance at Prune­yard Cin­e­mas in Camp­bell on Satur­day from 3 to 4 p.m. The tor­men­tor of Whoville from the Dr. Seuss clas­sic will be avail­able for pho­tos with movie­go­ers and might even jump be­hind the bar at the Cedar Room to whip up some green cock­tails.

Too soon for hol­i­day shenani­gans? Maybe, but at least it’s Novem­ber.

Yee

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