Post 1760 actively participates in the East Valley Veterans Day parade every year in downtown Mesa.
For more information on how you can participate and/or contribute through our organization, contact our EVVP board member Bob Burns and Veterans Day Parade Chairman Frank Alger through our contact page.
In addition to the Veterans Day Parade in Mesa, Post 1760’s establishment is also open to the public. This is one of two available days each year that the public is free to visit the building (the other being Memorial Day).
In 2006 the (former) Mesa Tribune Newspaper (now East Valley Tribune) printed a story that the City of Mesa was trimming its budget due to the economic slump that was occurring around the country and the world. One of the departments that would be most affected by these cuts was the City Parks and Recreation Dept. who announced that the City of Mesa would no longer hold the Veterans Day or MLK Parades. This information came out late in the spring. About 5 months before the November Parade date.
Post 1760 members Gerry Walker and Frank “Gunny” Alger arranged to be interviewed by a Tribune reporter with our VFW Post building in the background. Gerry stated at that time that as far as he was concerned “There will be a veterans day parade if it is only me marching down the street with Frank watching”. Leaders of the local VFW, American Legion, Disabled American Veterans (DAV) and the Marine Corp League were contacted and asked to participate in City council meetings to try to bring the City around to continue a 40 year old tradition in Mesa.
Our VFW Post 1760 was represented at the City Council meetings by Then Commander Randy Foshee and Post 1760 member Bob Burns. They each filled out speaker request cards and at the tail end of the meeting they were each given time to address the Council Members present. They took turns telling the Council that they were abandoning a sacred responsibility to the people of Mesa and her Veterans by not placing a high priority on finding funds to continue putting on this event annually. The council replied with all the standard platitudes about blood from turnips and finite resources in hard times. However in this exchange Councilmen Scott Smith and Rex Griswold asked us to remain in chambers after the meeting to discuss “options”. Council members Smith and Griswold offered the resources of the previous directors from the City staff who had experience with the parade. If they would create their own private organization to assemble volunteers and keep the parade alive. An all-volunteer group was established that evening and committed to keeping this community tribute to Veterans and their families alive and prospering.
Gunny Alger created the Articles of Incorporation for the “Mesa Veterans Parade Association, Inc.” by cutting and pasting from the Marine Corp league articles. The association began having meetings in the café at the back of the City of Mesa Admin building. VFW post 1760 has had a presence and was part of the leadership in this organization from the very beginning through today.
Jerry Walker served as chairman the first year but declined to hold offices after that. Frank “Gunny” Alger, also of Post 1760, took on the mantle of President for the following year. He was the one who organized and incorporated the Parade Association. About the third year of operation we realized the Parade was going to be a real success and we began to put more flesh on the bones. The IRS granted the organization a 501(c)3 status and they began reaching out to a larger community. Bob Burns took up the Presidency of the organization and filled that and the Vice-President roles for the next 4 years of operation.
When Jim Monroe, Post 1760 member, volunteered to be Parade committee chair we began to formalize the operation and in order to expand our reach we re-named the Parade to East Valley Veterans Parade and the organization was re-titled as Military Veterans Parade Association, DBA:MVPA.
In 2013 it was decided to hold the parade on the Saturday prior to Veterans Day to allow more working veterans and their families to attend and participate in this event. Even though it is a National Holiday very few businesses are closed for this and consequently most of our returned veterans are hard at work still building a better America.
(*gallery of photos to be added w/this website migration – 2017)
For more online information about the parade, visit the East Valley Veterans Parade website: www.evvp.org.