Grand marshal of Albany’s Veterans Day parade has sweet story

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Albany came together Friday to show thanks to veterans and active-duty military with a parade through the city.

Serving as the grand marshal of the Veterans Day parade is a special moment for any of our military members.

However, for John LaFalce, it was truly a landmark moment. He lived in Albany before truly growing up in the Navy while at war in Vietnam.

LaFalce comes from a long line of military members. His father served in World War II. He has a number of uncles who displayed the same bravery and sacrifice.

LaFalce has one of those storybook tales in the military. He went to war at 20 years old, leaving his high school sweetheart at home. Following two tours in Vietnam, he was honorably discharged and very soon after he married that high school sweetheart, Lyn. They are still married 52 years later.

LaFalce still has some special mementos from his time overseas — newspaper clippings, the beret of his Vietnamese translator and, of course, pictures of friends he served alongside.

See the sights and sounds of the parade, then hear LaFalce talk about his joy leading it by watching the video of Chris Onorato’s story.