The Unsung Hero
A special song for a special tribute to SCV Fallen Heroes. One of the 2019 SCV 4th of July parade entries, once again, pulled at the heartstrings of thousands of attendees, while honoring our hometown fallen troops, post 9/11. The Gold Star Parents & Families of these heroes, many on board the float that follows the tribute, could feel the never-ending love and appreciation from a grateful community. This annual parade entry, presented by Prayer Angels for the Military since 2012, is a reminder to all of us, of the cost of protecting our freedoms. These 13 Heroes lost their lives in service to our country, and they’ll never be forgotten. They remain forever in our hearts.
John & Marina Stratton, sang “The Unsung Hero” on the parade float. These local music artists jumped at the chance to honor our fallen troops, performing John’s original song live on the float, for all of our hometown unsung heroes. Partnering with the Prayer Angels for the Military this year, has truly been an honor for them. They sang their hearts out, with many in the crowd singing along. John shared these heartfelt feelings about his parade experience honoring Santa Clarita’s fallen Heroes.
“Singing in the 4th of July parade moved my wife and I more deeply than we could have imagined. The parade truly showed the heart of our Valley community. Many were in tears, others clapping and shouting, others standing in reverence, all for those who chose to lay their lives down for our freedom. I was blown away at the love and thankfulness expressed by our city. It was an honor to sing my song ‘The Unsung Hero’ as a tribute to our fallen soldiers. I had no idea what I was in for. The gravity of it all was far more than simply a parade or a show of patriotism. It was truly an act of love, and as I stood on the float behind a marine and a soldier currently serving our country, I could barely keep my composure. It really felt like the whole valley was saying, ‘we are in this together’. It’s an experience I will never forget”.
Photo tribute banners for SCV’s 13 fallen heroes were presented in chronological order for:
PFC Robert “Robby” Michael Wilson, SGT Dean Glen Todd Jr, LCpl Richard “Ricky” P. Slocum, PFC Cole W. Larsen, PFC Jose Ricardo “Ricky” Flores-Mejia, SGT Dennis L. Sellen Jr, SPC Stephen E. Colley, SGT John Michael Conant, SGT Ian Timothy D, Gelig, Pfc Jake W. Suter, SPC Rudy A. Acosta, MAJ Alan E. Colley, and Maj Stephen “Cajun” Del Bagno.
Proudly participating on-board the float: Marine SSgt Diana D. Renteria and Army SSG Scott Lawson, Army SSG Christopher James Taylor and Marine Sgt Joshua Wilson proudly carried photo tribute banners for our fallen throughout the parade route, along with SCV Young Marines, staff and parents, and community members.
The themed float was decorated with Signal front pages stories and photos about Prayer Angel events for the community, spanning 15 years, including the Military Honor Christmas Tree & Menorah Lighting at Veterans Historical Plaza, the Hearts for Heroes events, Operation Thank our Troops, and many more. Also featured were parade stories about the Angels and their event partners for many years, the SCV Young Marines.
Following the float was one of the Prayer Angel trucks, used for hauling monthly care packages for local deployed troops. Prayer Angels for the Military has led the community effort supporting hometown deployed troops with care packages and prayers, for over 15 years and continues. Anyone with a big heart can be on the Prayer Angel Team. We are Blue Star Families of active duty troops, Gold Star Families of our fallen, community members of all ages, veterans, church & youth groups, and businesses. We also assist local veterans in need.
Unfortunately, there was a mix up with the parade descriptions this year, causing media, announcers, and TV coverage to acknowledge the wrong groups for the Prayer Angels for the Military & Gold Star Families/fallen tribute entry. Most importantly, the fallen troops were recognized from their photo banners, and given a very special tribute, with a very special song.
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