Two graduates of Vergennes Union High School who have gone on to excel in their respective military careers will participate in the annual Vergennes Memorial Day parade, sponsored and run by American Legion Post 14.
The parade, with the theme of "never forgotten," will begin its two-mile route at 11 a.m. on Monday, May 31. At its conclusion, ceremonies will take place in Vergennes City Park. These include the laying of a wreath at the Commodore McDonough monument and readings and addresses by a variety of dignitaries.
Scheduled to return to play leading roles are two active duty military members originally hailing from the Little City-Col. Jeffrey Farnsworth, commander of the U.S. Army's First Space Brigade based in Colorado Springs, Colo., will be the guest speaker during the ceremonies. Cryptologic Technician (Technical) First Class Cassandra Foote, a leading petty officer and instructor at the Navy's Center for Information Dominance in Pensacola, Fla., is slated to serve as the Grand Marshall. Both are alumni of VUHS and, in addition, Farnsworth is a graduate of both Norwich University and the Army War College from which he holds a master's degree.
Colonel Farnsworth has been commander of the First Space Brigade, U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command / U.S. Army Forces Strategic Command since July 2008. He is responsible for the supervision of three one-of-a-kind battalions with forces forward deployed at 14 locations in seven countries providing day-to-day space support to the operational Army. Prior to his assignments within the Army Space community, he served in a variety of assignments as an U.S. Army Engineer Corps officer.
Farnsworth's personal awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (with four Oak Leaf Cluster), Army Commendation Medal (with four Oak Leaf Cluster), Navy-Marine Corps Commendation Medal, and the Army Achievement Medal (with two Oak Leaf Clusters).
Foote, who enlisted in the Navy following graduation from VUHS, was recently named a finalist in the Navy's Shore Sailor of the Year competition. She qualified by first being selected Sailor of the Year from the Navy Education and Training Command, the Navy-wide organization that includes virtually all schools in the Navy from recruit training through those offering the most advanced technical courses. She followed this by being selected as Sailor of the Year at the next echelon, the Navy's Manpower, Personnel, Training and Education organization which includes not only training commands but a wide variety of other human resource related organizations such as the Recruiting Command and the Navy Personnel Command. She has served tours of duty at sea aboard aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) and USS Winston Churchill (DDG 81), a destroyer. She is qualified as both a surface and an air warfare specialist.
Organizations and individuals wishing to participate in the parade should contact the parade committee chairman, Henry Broughton who can be reached through the Post at 877-3216, by e-mail at email@example.com or by sending a post card to Post 14 at 100 Armory Lane, Vergennes 05491. Those using email are asked to put "Memorial Day Parade" in the subject line.