GRIC Gold Star families honored at Coolidge Veterans Day Parade
Kim L. Vandenberg
The Coolidge Veterans Day Parade Committee selected the theme “Veterans Matter” and chose to honor two Gold Star Families from Gila River Indian Community/District 1.
Members of the families of David Drake Perkins/US Army/PFC and Dudney Nelson Arlentino/US Army/Spec 4th Class were part of the Grand Marshals that included WWII Veteran Therman Ashcraft/US Army (100 years old); Korean War Veterans Chuck Watson and Earl Hanna, both US Army; Vietnam Veteran Ronnie Smith/USMC; Desert Storm Veteran Thomas Jones/US Army and Operation Iraqi Freedom Veteran Matt Willcoxon/USAF. The Grand Marshals received an award for “Best Veteran” entry for the parade.
David Drake Perkins/U.S. Army PFC was born on August 20, 1943 in Sacaton and was killed in action on October 11, 1966 in Binh Dinh Providence at the age of 23. His family was presented with the Arizona Gold Star Family Medal. He received the Purple Heart, Army Good Conduct Medal; National Defense Medal; Vietnam Service Medal;
Vietnamese Military Merit Medal; Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm Individual Citation Medal; and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal. PFC Perkins belonged to the 1st Cavalry Division; A Company; 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry. His name can be found on Panel 11E/Line 67 at the Vietnam Memorial Wall in DC.
Dudney Nelson Arlentino/U.S. Army Specialist 4th Class was born April 29, 1945 and was killed in action on December 7, 1967 at the age of 23 in Binh Dinh Providence. His family was presented with the Arizona Gold Star Family Medal. He received the Bronze Star Medal w/”V” for Valor; Purple Heart; Combat Infantry Badge; Marksmanship Badge; National Defense Medal; Vietnam Campaign Medal; Vietnam Service Medal; Army Presidential Citation; Vietnam Gallantry Cross and Army Good Conduct Meda. Specialist 4 Arlentino belonged to the 1st Cavalry Div; 1st Battalion; A Company; 50th Infantry.
His name can be found on Panel 31E/Line 58 at the Vietnam Memorial Wall in DC.
The Coolidge Veterans Day Parade Committee was very honored to have the families of PFC Perkins and Specialist 4th Class Arlentino as part of our honored Grand Marshals this year.