MIDWEST CITY -- The Veteran’s Day Parade, scheduled for Monday, Nov. 12, will feature a fly-over performed by F-16s of the138th Fighter Wing, Oklahoma Air National Guard out of Tulsa, according to parade officials, along with five generations of war veterans who will serve as Parade Grand Marshalls.
The fly-over will take place at approximately 10:20 a.m. along Douglas Boulevard.
About the 138th Fighter Wing: The 125th Observation Squadron was organized in Tulsa in December 1940 and federally recognized in January 1941 as the Oklahoma National Guard’s first flying unit.
The squadron was moved to various locations throughout the United States before arriving in Liverpool, England, on D-Day in 1944. After moving to France in August 1944, the 125th Liaison Squadron was attached to the Ninth Army until VE Day.
Back home in Tulsa and as the 125th Fighter Squadron, the unit flew the F-51 from November 1945 to February 1947. The 125th returned to active duty in 1950 under Ninth Air Force and sent to Alexandria, La., until July 1952.
Returning to Tulsa under state control, the squadron flew the F-51 and F-80 until becoming part of the 138th Fighter Group under the Air Defense Command flying the F-86D in August 1957.
Since 1996 personnel from the 138th Fighter Wing have supported combat operations throughout the world and operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Operation New Dawn was the tenth combat deployment for the 125th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron. The 125th EFS has the distinction of being the last fighter squadron in Iraq, providing top cover for 39,000 plus coalition troops exiting the country.
The federal mission of the 138th Fighter Wing is to maintain combat forces ready for mobilization, deployment and employment as needed to support national security objectives.
Additionally, the state mission is to support the governor of the state of Oklahoma with units organized, equipped and trained in the protection of life and property, and preservation of peace, order and public safety under competent orders of authority. For the parade fly-over the unit will use the “Brave” call sign.
The pilots for this event will include Capt. Chris ‘Temper’ Wells, Capt. Adam ‘Scram’ Gobbo and Capt. Sam ‘Paco’ Stephens.
The Grand Marshal’s for the parade will be area war veteran’s representing six wars and conflicts.
They include: WWII veteran James Street. As a PVT, Street, Regular Army, took artillery basic training at Fort Know, Ky., and upon completing basic training was sent to Augsburg, Germany to join Battery “B”, 60th Field Artillery, 9th Infantry Division.
One of their primary missions was to guard 5,000 German SS POW’s and process them for either discharge or send them to the War Crimes Trials in Nuremberg.
He was honorably discharged on Christmas Eve 1948 and subsequently entered the U.S. Air Force and spent time in Korea, Japan, Azores and Saudi Arabia for a total of 15 years overseas.
Street retired as a CMSgt, with over 30 years of active duty, in 1977. He is a member of the DAV, VFW, and the American Legion and has resided in Midwest City since 1984.
Army Korean War Veteran Charles Selby. Selby entered the Army on July 2, 1948, and spent a total of 22 years serving his country. He served as a platoon aid man (Medical Corp) during the Korean War.
In June 1950, he left Fort Bliss, Texas, on a troop train and went to Fort Lewis, Wash. From there he went on a merchant marine ship with the 38th Regiment of the 2nd Infantry Division to Korea.
In September 1950, he was wounded and flown to Japan for treatment and then he returned to combat operation in Korea in October 1950.
There he was captured by the Chinese Army and spent from Nov. 26, 1950, to Aug. 19, 1953, (33 months) as a Prisoner of War. He was released as part of the big switch of prisoners at Panmunjon, Korea.
Upon being discharged from the Army in 1953, he rejoined the Army in 1957 and served two tours of duty in Europe and two tours of duty in Vietnam before retiring as a Sergeant First Class in 1974. His military decorations include Bronze Star and a Purple Heart, among many others.
Vietnam War Veteran Joe Von Rembow. Rembow originally enlisted in the Army Air Corps at the age of 15 and is a life member of the Veterans of Underage Military Service as well as a life member of the Disabled American Veterans, Veterans of Foreign War and the American Legion.
During the Korean War, Rembow was with the first group of Air Force members to enter the War, setting up operations with the Korean Air Force. He was part of the P-51 Mustang flight crews that trained Korean pilots and crew on how to fly and maintain the P-51.
Rembow’s military decorations include the Bronze Star Medal for service while engaged in ground operations against an opposing force, the Presidential Unit Citation, Army Commendation Medal and many more. Rembow has lived in Midwest City since 1969.
Gulf War Veteran Marcos Bitela. Bitela entered the Air Force in 1988 as a firefighter and retrained into the Combat Communications Specialty. During the Gulf War, he deployed to Kuwait with the Stealth Bomber as a Combat Communications Specialist, where he provide crucial combat communications that allowed the Stealth Bomber to carry out its crucial wartime mission.
He also deployed to Incirlik Air Base in support of operation Northern Watch and later deployed during operation Southern Watch. He suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury during combat operations in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
His decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, Air force Commendation Medal w/six oak leaf clusters, Joint Service Achievement Medal, Air Force Achievement Medal w/three oak leaf clusters, Afghanistan Campaign w/one service star, Iraq campaign medal and many others.
Bitela retired as an Air Force master Sergeant after more than 23 years of service. He lives in Midwest City with his wife, Pam.
Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom Veteran Theresa Haworth. Haworth attended both Carl Albert Middle School and High School, where she played soccer for the Titans in 2005-06.
Upon graduation she entered the U.S. Navy as a 2nd Class Boatsman Mate. She served for four years on active duty and two years in the Naval Reserves.
While on active duty, she deployed in support of both Operation Enduring and Iraqi Freedom aboard the missile destroyer U.S.S. Chung Hoon. She also served as an Aviation Ordinance Man on the Navy’s P-3 aircraft.
In 2012, Theresa graduated from Heritage College with an Associate’s Degree in Therapeutic Massage.
According to event Co-Chairwomen, Bonnie Cheatwood, there are over 70 additional entrees scheduled to be a part of the parade.
“We are very pleased that the city, community, Tinker Air Force Base and many others have planned to participate in this event. We are so fortunate to live in a community where veteran’s and the military are such an important part of our everyday lives.
"This parade is an opportunity for us to thank them for serving our country and helping to keep us all safe,” Cheatwood said.
The parade will begin at 10:00 a.m. at Century Boulevard and S.E. 15th Street; go east to Douglas Boulevard, north on Douglas Boulevard to Reno Avenue west to Joe B. Barnes Regional Park.