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Veteran’s Day parade honors ‘heroes from every generation’

In his job with the U.S. Army Reserve, Brig. Gen. Peter S. Lennon has overseen soldiers who have been deployed as many as five times.

Thoughts of those soldiers and their sacrifice came flooding over him this morning as Lennon, the commanding general at the 316th Expeditionary Logistical Command in Moon, prepared to serve as grand marshal of Pittsburgh’s 91st Veterans Day Parade.

“This is really is an amazing honor,” said Lennon, 56, of Newport News, Va., who has been in the Army for 34 years. “It is an opportunity for the public to recognize all of the country’s soldiers and service men. I hope the parade goes beyond the current events. There are heroes from every generation.”

About 100 members of the 316th Expeditionary were expected to march — the largest contingent in the parade.

The 316th Expeditionary was activated in 2007 and serves as the logistics command in combat. It has units in 13 states.

Army Reserve work is disruptive, demanding and requires sacrifice, Lennon said.

“It is hard on the family and soldier and hard on the employers — especially on small-business owners,” he said.

For veterans like Mike Murphy, 61, of Lawrenceville, the parade is a once-a-year opportunity to see veterans of all ages on the same day.

“There are marchers from as far back as World War II — some of them 90 years old — and veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan. It is very important for veterans to meet and understand what they went through,” said Murphy, a parade organizer, retired Pittsburgh firefighter and veteran of the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division during Vietnam.

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