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Barstow Veterans Home of California residents Dolores Gragg (left), Judy Richardson and Roy Chandler showcase the home's battleship parade float. The Barstow Veterans Yacht Club will aim to get the float, and veterans from the home, onto parade routes across Southern California.

Barstow Veterans Home showcasing parade float


BARSTOW • After glowing reviews of the Veterans Home’s battleship-designed float — which made its debut in the annual Kiwanis Club Mardi Gras Parade back in October — the Veterans Home is now planning to display the float through multiple parades across the state.

The float, which exhibits the Veterans Home logo and phone number on the side of the battleship, was the last float to go through the parade route. Many of the spectators lining Main Street throughout the evening had left, and the people that remained watching the parade wore the look of fatigue.

The Veterans Home float, however, still got a huge reaction.

“The veterans that were watching the parade all of sudden stood up, smiled and saluted us,” said Veterans Home resident Michael Moore. “The reaction you get from these veterans brings tears to your eyes.”

Moore, the founder of the project, wants to take the battleship float even further.

Moore, along with Captain Judy Richardson and First Mate Roy Chandler, have started the Barstow Veterans Yacht Club, with the goal of taking the float around to parade routes across the state.

“Our primary goal is to have the veterans, many of whom are wheelchair-bound, out onto the parade route,” Moore said. “Our second goal is to have the Veterans Home of California-Barstow name and phone number in front of as many veterans, which may also include homeless veterans, as possible. Our third goal is to trailer our battleship float to as many parades as possible throughout Southern California.”

The Yacht Club is a group of local residents, business owners and Veterans Home residents that have joined to raise funds to directly benefit the residents as well as the home. Former Barstow Mayor Lawrence Dale was the first donor, and all donors automatically become Yacht Club Members.

For more information about the Barstow Veterans Yacht Club, call 760-256-8612. To donate to the Barstow Veterans Yacht Club,  make donations payable to the Veterans Home Support Foundation c/o Barstow Veterans Yacht Club, 135 Cal Ave, Barstow, 92311.

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