2019 Centennial Veterans Day Parade | Grand Marshal Announcement: U.S. Marine Corps veteran Eddie Ray

The United War Veterans Council (“UWVC”)  announces the second of its 2019 Centennial NYC Veterans Day Parade Grand Marshals: 

U.S. Marine Corps veteran and Navy Cross Recipient 

Eddie Ray


U.S. Marine Corps veteran Eddie Ray received Navy Cross in Desert Storm

The United War Veterans Council (UWVC) announced U.S Marine Corps Veteran Eddie Ray as one of the Grand Marshals for the 2019 New York City Veterans Day Parade. 

This year’s Parade marks the centennial observation of Veterans Day, formerly Armistice Day.  Ray, who received the Navy Cross for actions during Operation Desert Storm (1991) is the second of this year’s five Grand Marshals, who will each represent an era of service from World War II to the present day.  He joins previously announced Grand Marshal Hiroshi “Hershey” Miyamura (U.S. Army, Korea); the three remaining Grand Marshals will be announced over the next few weeks.

The Parade will take place on New York City’s iconic Fifth Avenue, in the heart of Manhattan, on November 11, 2019.  It will feature nearly 300 marching units and over 25,000 participants from nearly 30 states, including veterans, military members, service organizations, youth cadets and top high school marching bands.  The parade will be broadcast on TV and online by WABC-TV, the nation’s most-watched television station.

Born in Southern Los Angeles, Ray joined the U.S. Marine Corps in 1977.  He earned his bachelor’s degree while serving as enlisted artilleryman, and joined the reserves as an officer. After Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990, Ray led his Light Infantry Vehicle company overseas, joining the international coalition defending Saudi Arabia for Operation Desert Shield. 

On February 24, 1991 Allied forces launched Operation Desert Storm to liberate Kuwait.  One day into the operation, then-Captain Ray received word that his division’s command post was threatened by a large force of Iraqi armored vehicles.  Ray ordered his vastly-outnumbered force to charge the oncoming Iraqi brigade.  At the end of the battle, Ray’s unit had captured more than 250 enemy soldiers and destroyed over fifty enemy vehicles.  His leadership and courage earned him the Navy Cross, one of only two awarded during that war.

Ray continued his career in the Marines, with numerous commands and several overseas deployments, including the initial U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003.  He retired in 2008 with the rank of Colonel.  Since his retirement, Ray has been active in the veterans community, including serving as a co-founder and emeritus board member of Veterans and Athletes United, an organization dedicated to empowering and serving veterans and their families.

“Colonel Ray is an unsung hero from an often-overlooked generation of service,” said UWVC Executive Director, himself a Marine veteran of Desert Storm.  “We are extraordinarily proud to spotlight his story at this year’s Centennial Veterans Day Parade”

“I am humbled to be selected as a grand marshal for the New York City Veterans Day parade,” said Colonel Ray.  “I’m grateful for the opportunity to represent the unselfish and heroic marines I had the privilege and honor to serve with.”

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ABOUT THE NYC VETERANS DAY PARADE:  The New York City Veterans Day Parade is our nation’s largest event honoring service. Produced by the United War Veterans Council (UWVC), the Parade provides the public with the opportunity to salute our veterans and military, and raises awareness for organizations working to serve their needs. It is the centerpiece of an annual citywide effort to honor our veterans community.  The Parade features veterans groups and service providers, military units, youth and civic groups, top high school bands from across America, vintage vehicles, floats and more. It is supported by numerous sponsoring partners, including UWVC Recycling, JP Morgan Chase & Co., Fiserve, Cushman & Wakefield, Wounded Warrior Project and A+E Networks/HISTORY. For more information, visit uwvc.org/vetsday.

ABOUT THE UNITED WAR VETERANS COUNCIL:  The United War Veterans Council, Inc. (UWVC) is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that honors and serves veterans.  The UWVC supports and promotes a wide range of initiatives that provide vital services to our veterans community (including health, wellness and education); raises positive awareness and increases public understanding of the needs of our veterans community through major public events and promotional activities; and brings together veterans groups, community organizations, government agencies, businesses of all sizes and the general public. For more information, visit uwvc.org and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.