VANDALIA — Vandalia-Butler will welcome two very special guests as part of the annual Air Show Parade sponsored by the Vandalia-Butler Chamber of Commerce.
Rear Admiral John R. Haley, Commander of Naval Air Force Atlantic, will be the parade Grand Marshal. Joining him will be Myles Eckert, a 10-year old boy from Ohio who received the Congressional Medal of Honor Young Hero Award.
Eckert was given the award for a tribute he paid to a soldier he saw outside a Cracker Barrel near Toledo. After finding a $20 bill on the ground, Eckert, whose father was killed fighting in Iraq, wrapped it in a hand-written note and gave it to the soldier.
The note read, “Dear Soldier — My dad was a soldier. He’s in heaven now. I found this $20 in the parking lot when we got here. We like to pay it forward in my family. It’s your lucky day! Thank you for your service. Myles Eckert, a Gold Star kid.”
Since then, Eckert has helped raise nearly $2 million for Gold Star charities.
Haley’s appearance in Vandalia is part of Navy Week which will be held June 13-19. Several events are planned including historical presentations, musical performances by the Navy Band Northeast, community service projects, and activities involving veterans.
The week culminates in the Navy’s Blue Angels performance at the Vectren Dayton Air Show on June 18-19.
“The Navy Week program is crucial to ensure all Americans have the opportunity to experience the Navy,” said Lt. Javan Rasnake, director of Dayton Navy Week. “Navy Weeks allow Americans to meet face-to-face with Navy personnel to see first-hand that the Navy is a warfighting force, deployed around the world and always ready.”
The Vandalia-Butler Air Show Parade will be held Friday, June 17 at 7 p.m.
Reach Darrell Wacker at 937-684-8983 or on Twitter @VandaliaDrummer.