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American Legion Post 102, AMVETS #0770 host 51st Memorial Day parade, ceremony

On this Memorial Day, the American Legion Post 102 and AMVETS #0770 host their 51st Memorial Day parade and ceremony at the Tucson Estates
Posted at 2:35 PM, May 27, 2024

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — The American Legion Post 102 and AMVETS #0770 hosted their 51st Memorial Day ceremony this morning.

With the sound of marching bands and flags waving in the air, many Tucson locals showed up at the Tucson Estates to pay their respects. The event began at 8 a.m. with a parade led by Adrian Fontes, Arizona's Secretary of State. Fontes served in the United States Marine Corps from 1992-1996.

Veteran and AMVET member, Kenneth Barton, was a Radioman 3rd Class during the Vietnam War for the U.S. Navy. The veteran tells me he and his peers try their best to live a good life in honor of those who died while serving.

“And bringing their memory back as much as we can because that’s all we can really do," Barton said. "They really gave this country what it's got, you know, we just kinda followed along.”

Another veteran in attendance, was Helmut Boehl, a German native who served in the U.S. Navy as a Damage Controlman 2nd Class. He did two tours of Vietnam on the U.S.S. Newport News.

Boehl described to me the pain and sorrow that sometimes come with serving, but also reflects on a few memorable stops during his time in the Navy.

“Well we were always flag shipped for 2nd Fleet and 7th Fleet and the Admiral always took us to nice places like Hong Kong and Japan and things like that," Boehl described. "So, I remember those ports. But it was also the loneliness of being out to sea for 40 days, you know, but the ship was well-equipped with closed circuit TV and everything. So, were well treated, let's put it that way, and I was glad for that."

People from all walks of life showed up today to pay their respects, something that both Boehl and Barton value.

"Oh, this is great! It's wonderful," said Boehl of today's event. "It's great that people really appreciate what the veterans do," Barton said. "It's amazing.

For those enlisted in the military, or are thinking of joining, Barton shares a few words of wisdom.

“You know, it’s not an easy life," Barton said. "But it helps protect your country—whether you think so or not, it does. You get to realize how great a country it is when you’re outside of it and you see how the rest of the world is, it’s not always pretty and you get to appreciate what you have.”


Jacqueline Aguilar is a multimedia journalist at KGUN 9. Born and raised in Yuma, AZ., she is no stranger to the unforgiving Arizona heat. Now this U of A wildcat is excited to be back in Tucson and is looking forward to involving herself in the community. Share your story ideas with Jacqueline by emailing or connecting on Facebook, Instagram or X.