For those who served |

For those who served

Jarid Shipley
Appeal Staff Writer
BRAD HORN/Nevada Appeal Wendy Tapia of Incline High School's ROTC helps carry the American flag down the main street in the Virginia City Veterans Day parade on Saturday.

Several years ago, Eldon “Curly” Harrall made a deal with God. He was preparing for complicated surgery and vowed if he made it through, he’d dedicate his life to helping others in need.

Since then, he has collected and personally delivered supplies to Louisiana following Hurricane Katrina and donated numerous hours constructing a float for the Dayton VFW Post 8660. He did all of it while confined to a wheelchair.

For his efforts, he was selected as the 2006 Outstanding Veteran of the Year in Nevada.

Saturday morning, dressed in red, white and blue, Harrall received another honor, serving as the grand marshal of the Virginia City Veteran’s Day Parade. His wife, Glinda, dressed to match, rode next to him.

“I think that if I can do my little bit, then I am honored just to be able to help,” Harrall said.

Harrall served in the army for four years, four months and 24 days, beginning in 1948 and fought in the Korean Conflict.

“Veteran’s Day means a day we need to honor our men and women in the armed forces, those serving now and who’ve been in, with all the gratitude we have,” Harrall said. “We should do that every day, but especially on Veteran’s Day.”

There were 40 entries in the parade, and even the rain and snow showers couldn’t dampen the spirits of participants and onlookers alike.

“We need to do this, to honor those who fought for our freedom and who died for it,” said Julian South, 15.

South had a front row seat for the parade, but wasn’t able to see much of it because he was selling American flags for Boy Scout Troop 100 in Dayton.

The procession included several VFW posts, a miniature aircraft carrier and ROTC programs, including Incline Village High School, which brought a flag that stretched from sidewalk to sidewalk across C Street.

Cameron Ansart rode behind his grandfather Frank Garcia on his motorcycle. It was the 6-year-olds fifth Veterans Day Parade riding with Garcia.

“He’s my partner. We’ve ridden all over around here from Jacks Valley and down to Reno for Street Vibrations. He has three motorcycles of his own,” Garcia said. “I’m kind of jealous.”

Cameron said he likes riding in the parade. His only complaint was not being able to collect any candy.

• Contact reporter Jarid Shipley at or 881-1217.