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Archive for Thursday, June 6, 1991

LOCAL RESERVIST READY TO MARCH IN D.C. PARADE

June 6, 1991

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— A Lawrence Army reservist will be among thousands of veterans of Desert Shield and Desert Storm who will march in a national victory parade for the Persian Gulf War.

The three-mile parade on Saturday will begin near the Capitol and run down Constitution Avenue and across the Potomac River to the Pentagon.

Capt. Janice N. Ott, 33, a 1988 Kansas University gradauate from Lawrence, will be a member of a 197-person formation representing Army reservists called to active duty from units in the 5th U.S. Army.

Ott, a member of the 129th Transporation Company in Osage City, was called to active duty in September. She served in Saudi Arabia and Iraq during her eight-month tour.

Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf, commander of forces during the war, will lead an estimated 8,000 to 10,000 Persian Gulf veterans in the parade.

A display near the parade will include a pair of every fighter plane that flew in the war, plus Tomahawk cruise missiles, Bradley fighting vehicles and M1-A1 tanks (wearing rubber slippers on their treads to keep from destroying sidewalks).

``The idea is that people can get within petting range of these things,'' said Daniel B. Denning, a lobbyist for General Electric who is an executive director of parade activities.

``This is a chance for the Defense Department to honor its troops, have the country say `thank you,' and let the military show off itself,'' said Denning, a parade expert and architect of inaugural parades in the Reagan and Bush administrations.

Parade organizers are paying the National Park Service $700,000 to police the area, erect fencing and clean up afterward. Park officials expect 600,000 people to attend. Parade organizers say there will be as many as 1.4 million.

``It's been intense to work out the logistics,'' said Sandra Alley, a spokeswoman for the Park Service.

The Pentagon is expected to pay $5 million to $7 million for the parade ($3 million in taxpayers' money), a Defense Department official said. Parade organizers are raising $5 million more in private donations.

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