2021's Phoenix Veterans Day Parade's grand marshal served for over three decades

There will be an extra special grand marshal at the upcoming Phoenix Veterans Day Parade on Nov. 11.

Hosting the parade will be a woman who served over three decades of her life, including multiple deployments, as a nurse in the Army.

For Christine Mahon, her long career in the Army started by chance. "I was a graduate student at ASU and I was living on a stipend and needed some extra money," she said.

She quickly rose through the ranks becoming the chief nurse of the combat support hospital, which meant she was deployed to assist in Operation Desert Storm.

The hardest part of her 33-year career, she says, is leaving her family.

"I left three young children, as many of us did, so that was the hardest part," Mahon said. "It's very, very scary. It's very much the unknown. I had a lot of responsibility. I was the new chief nurse, I had to call people and tell them they were being deployed, which is a hard thing to do."

She says as we approach Veterans Day, she's reflecting on her career and hopes people realize the sacrifice many Americans have made to keep our country free.

"I think the thing that keeps you there is the people, the people you work with, the people that become lifelong friends. You talk about Army buddies, that's really true,' Mahon said.

Adding, "It was the experience of a lifetime. It was my honor to serve," she said.

The parade will take place on Thursday, Nov. 11 at 11 a.m. and more information can be found here.

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