2012 Veteran’s Day Parade


Meet Gunnery Sergeant Shawn Shoulders, Grand Marshal of the 2012 Veteran’s Day Parade

The 2012 Marion County Veterans Day Parade will be held on Monday, November 12 in Fairmont.  And this year there will be a very special Grand Marshal. One of Fairmont’s own veterans will lead the parade.

Gunnery Sergeant Shawn Shoulders was born in Fairmont on April 16, 1976.  He graduated from East Fairmont High School in June 1994.  Upon graduation he attended Fairmont State College for about a year and then enlisted in the Marine Corps in September 1995.  He attended Recruit Training in October at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, South Carolina.

Military Career
Following completion of training, Private First Class Shoulders was assigned to F Battery 2nd Battalion 11th Marines, Camp Pendleton, CA where he served as a cannon crewman and made multiple deployments to Okinawa, Japan and Kuwait.

In December 1999, Sergeant Shoulders transferred to I Battery 3rd Battalion 10th Marines where he served as a Section Chief and Platoon Sergeant, deploying to Croatia and Bosnia.  In May of 2002 Staff Sergeant Shoulders was reassigned to Ft Sill, Oklahoma as an instructor for the Marine Corps Artillery Detachment and was later selected to be the enlisted representative for the new lightweight howitzer research and development team.  In June 2005, Staff Sergeant Shoulders was again reassigned to S Battery 5th Battalion 10th Marines where he held positions ranging from Platoon Sergeant to First Sergeant and Platoon Commander. During his time in S battery Staff Sergeant Shoulders deployed to Fallujah, Iraq; Pakistan, and helped evacuate the U.S. citizens from Beirut in 2006.

After three years with S Battery, now Gunnery Sergeant, Shoulders was assigned to G Battery 3rd Battalion 14th Marines as the I&I Battery Gunnery Sergeant.  During his tenure with G Battery, Gunnery Sergeant Shoulders also served as the Supply Officer, Armory Officer, community relations coordinator, and Military Funeral Honors Coordinator.  After three years serving with G Battery he was reassigned to Headquarters Battery 10th Marines to serve as the Civil Affairs Detachment Chief for their upcoming deployment. While serving this billet Gunnery Sergeant Shoulders was injured in an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) blast on May 31, 2012 and subsequently transferred to Wounded Warrior Battalion East located in Bethesda, MD.

Shoulders is a highly decorated soldier. He’s received the following:

  • Purple Heart
  • Navy Commendation Medal with 2 gold stars
  • Navy Achievement Medal with 2 gold stars
  • Army Achievement Medal
  • Combat Action Ribbon


His Family
Shawn is married to the former Suzan Rice, also from Fairmont. They reside in Richlands, NC with their two children, Madison and Conner.

Parade Details
Parade line-up is at Palatine Park at noon. The parade starts at 1:00 pm.

The parade will follow Merchant Street, cross the Robert H. Mollohan Bridge, travel Washington Street, Monroe Street and on to Adams Street ending at Veterans Plaza.

A short ceremony will take place on the plaza following the parade (approximately 1:45 pm).  The presentation will also include a wreath laying ceremony, Presentation of Colors, a 21-gun salute and Taps.

For more information about the parade or to find out how to participate, contact Chris Griffith at 304.657.3016.

Other Events in the County
Plans are also underway for a 5:00 pm ceremony at the Vietnam Veteran Memorial located at the entrance to East Marion Park.  The memorial consists of a six-ton monument with the 27 names of the men from Marion County who died in Vietnam, along with a Hey Helicopter which actually flew in Vietnam.  Jim Zinn is the guest speaker.

The North Marion Senior Center is hosting a free roast beef dinner in honor of all veterans at 4:00 pm.  Randy Elliott is the master of ceremonies.

Do you know of any other Veterans Day activities? Be sure to share them with us.


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