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Fiesta Parade’s grand marshals announced

Local World War II heroes to lead the way

Published: Saturday, Aug. 31, 2013 1:15 a.m. CDT

STERLING – Grand marshals for the Sept. 14 Sterling-Rock Falls Fiesta parade were announced Friday.

Leading this year’s parade will be a group of local World War II heroes. They are:

Guadalupe Rodriguez, 93 of Sterling. Rodriguez was drafted in the Army in 1941, right after the attack on Pearl Harbor. After basic training, Rodriguez was sent to Europe and served in the European Theater. He was a corporal in the Army as a Technician transporting troops. Rodriguez served in France, Germany, England, Italy and Belgium. He was discharged in 1946.

Manuel Garcia, 86 of Sterling.  A Storekeeper Third Class, Manuel enlisted in the Navy in 1944 and was discharged in 1945. Garcia received his basic training at Great Lakes Naval Center. Following basic training he was transferred to the destroyer USS Nicholas based in Pearl Harbor. Garcia also served in the South Pacific aboard the aircraft carrier USS Bonhomme Richard and the oil tanker USS Housatonic.

Paul Castillo, 88 of Sterling. The Air Force Staff Sergeant was drafted in June 1943 and served until December 1945. Castillo was a Flight Engineer and an Aerial Gunner on a B-36 and flew in 26 missions over Germany and two during the Battle of the Bulge.

Rafael Rios, 87 of Sterling. Rios enlisted in the Army in January 1945 and was discharged in January 1949 after serving in France and Germany as an Infantry Squad Leader. Rios was a Buck Sergeant at the time of his discharge.

Alfred Lopez, 86 of RockFalls. The Navy Seaman First Class served from February 1945 to October 1946 on the destroyer escort USS George A.Johnson.

The Taste of Fiesta spans from Sept. 7 through Sept. 15. This year’s parade has nearly 50 entries. It will start at noon at First Avenue and 10th Street in Rock Falls, cross the First Avenue bridge into Sterling, turn east onto Fourth Street and end at the intersection of Fourth Street and Fourth Avenue.

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