June 4, 2023

U.S. Coast Guard Senior Chief Malia Chasteen had one thought as she waited for Torrance’s 61st annual Armed Forces Day parade to start on Saturday afternoon, Could 20.

As she took within the scenes of households staking out their spots on sidewalks, banners festooned on gentle posts and navy autos lined up alongside Torrance Boulevard, Chasteen felt impressed.

“Signal me again in,” she stated.

However first, she had extra urgent duties to take care of.

Mid-parade, Chasteen was promoted to a two-star officer, changing into the primary African American girl to develop into Grasp Chief Petty Officer of the U.S. Coast Guard.

“She’s large time and we’re so pleased with her,” stated Vince Patton, a retired grasp chief who flew in from Washington, D.C., for the event. “That is historical past.”

About 500 new recruits additionally took the oath of set up for all six branches of america Armed Forces Saturday in a uncommon public present led by the parade’s grand marshal, Coast Guard Rear Adm. Carola Record.

The parade was the spotlight of Torrance’s three-day celebration of the Armed Forces, which started Friday and returned in full for the primary time in three years; it was nixed in 2020 and 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic, after which pared down final yr. About 100,000 individuals have been anticipated to attend the celebration over its three-day run.

Torrance boasts the nation’s longest working city-sponsored navy parade – and it’s additionally one of many few sanctioned by the U.S. Division of Protection.

Crowds lined Torrance Boulevard because the parade made its means from Crenshaw Boulevard to Madrona Avenue, waving at troopers, sailors, World Battle II veterans and native politicians. In addition they gawked at navy autos, cheered for marching items and horse regiments, and stared in awe not less than three flyovers, from a B-25 bomber, three T-6 planes and a World Battle II-era PT-17.

This yr’s honored service was the Coast Guard.

As such, Petty Officer First Class Andres Pulido, of Coast Guard Base Los Angeles/Lengthy Seaside, served as honorary grand marshal, whereas actor Beau Bridges, who served within the Coast Guard Reserve, was the superstar grand marshal.

However the Coast Guard wasn’t the one navy department represented.

Gloria Diaz of Torrance stated she was grateful for the VIP seats the Torrance Police Division reserved for her father Alberto Pacheco, 92, who served within the U.S. Military through the Korean Battle.

“His image is on one of many banners right here, too,” the proud daughter stated, “and I wished him to have this chance to see the parade.”

Her father repaired weapons and different munitions within the frontlines of the Korean battle. In 1962, with assist from the Veterans Administration’s house mortgage program, Alberto Pacheco purchased a home on Fiat Road in Torrance, the place he and his spouse, Marielena, raised their 5 kids. He nonetheless lives there right this moment.

“I’m very fortunate,” he stated. “As an American, I’m proudest that we’ve an opportunity to get forward. Every part is right here. We’ve achieved fairly good.”

Pacheco took pictures with Lorry Rose Vaca, 92, who served within the Marines from 1950 to 1954, graciously commending her service – regardless of his Military loyalty.

Vaca lived in Torrance for greater than 50 years earlier than shifting to Hawthorne. Many members of her household, together with her kids and grandchildren, participated in previous Armed Forces Day Parades as a part of the Junior ROTC, or their faculty marching bands.

“I’ve been to nearly each parade,” Vaca stated. “I find it irresistible. I get so excited seeing every thing. It makes me really feel very patriotic and linked to my group. And my favourite half each time? The Marines, after all!”

U.S. Air Pressure veteran and Torrance Treasurer Tim Goodrich, in the meantime, celebrated a small victory days earlier than the parade: He tried on his outdated uniform, which he first wore 24 years in the past – and it nonetheless match. Goodrich wore the freshly dry-cleaned uniform as he rode a pink convertible within the parade.

Goodrich, a 16-year Torrance resident, stated the three-day celebration honoring the U.S. navy was an opportunity to take pride within the Armed Forces and rejoice the group.

“It means quite a lot of respect for our servicemembers, individuals coming collectively,” Goodrich stated. “It’s an unbelievable honor.”

Goodrich’s son marched within the parade as a member of Cub Scout Pack 851. Sitting within the grandstand was Goodrich’s spouse, who was anticipating their second youngster in just a few days.

Torrance’s soon-to-born latest resident, Goodrich stated, gained’t miss the festivities subsequent yr.

“We’ll convey her right here for certain,” he stated.