The Grand Marshal of the Turlock Independence Day parade is elected every year by members of the community. This year Bob Russell, commander of the American Legion Rex Ish Post 88, was nominated by his fellow Legion members to serve in the honorary position at the head of the parade.
Russell was also nominated last year by several members of the community. Trina Walley, executive director of the Downtown Property Owners' Association, said that Russell was chosen for Grand Marshal because of the overwhelming response from the community two years in a row.
“He's the go getter at the Turlock American Legion,” Walley said.
Russell has served as commander of Rex Ish Post 88 for three years now. He not only oversees the Turlock American Legion post, he also runs the group's biggest fundraiser of the year. The American Legion beer booth at the Stanislaus County Fair brings in more net profit for the post than any other fund raiser. Russell organizes the beer booth every year, and can be seen serving drinks during the fair's 10 day run. Bar tending is all in a day's work for Russell, who is also the bar manager at the posts' bar.
Fellow American Legion member Wardee Bruce officially nominated Russell for the honor of Grand Marshal.
“He does 100 percent out of any job that comes up,” Bruce said of Russell.
Bruce said that he nominated Russell because of his service to the community. He said that Russell always helps out anyone who needs it, especially veterans and their families. He considers Russell not only a good American Legion member, but also an outstanding individual as a person.
“He's the type of person who I would follow anywhere. And I'm a leader, not a follower. So that's saying something about Bob,” Bruce said.
Russell said that he was excited to be nominated for Parade Grand Marshal. As an Army veteran he would like everyone to remember what Independence Day is all about.
“It's not about barbecues and having a day off. It's a day to thank a veteran for their service to this country,” Russell said.
As Grand Marshal, Russell will ride in a jeep at the front of the Turlock Independence Day Parade will begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday on Main Street.
To contact Andrea Goodwin, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 634-9141 ext. 2003.