Each year, the Phoenix Veterans Day Parade chooses amongst the 511,000 veterans in Maricopa County to have the honor of serving as Veterans Grand Marshals in the Phoenix Veterans Day Parade. This year, the seven chosen veterans are inspirations to us all. We are honored to highlight each of their military and personal achievements.
Desert Storm Veteran, U.S. Air Force veteran Michael Quezada
Michael Quezada, a 30-year Air Force veteran is “a fierce warrior with a relentless pursuit of perfection,” according to one friend. Deployed to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Spain to support missions during Operation Desert Storm, Quezada serves as an enlisted aircraft communications and navigation technician.
Quezada earned a Galant Unit Citation for his 100 percent success rate for more than 100 combat missions.
His commitment and attention to detail extended beyond his aircraft maintenance to the more than 300 airmen and airwomen under his command as first sergeant.
After 30 years in the U.S. Air Force, Quezada continued to serve his country for more than 12 years as a unit deployment manager for the 55th Rescue Squadron at Davis Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson. Quezada’s continued service supported deployment operations during Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Operation Inherent Resolve. He also worked with astronauts as part of an on-site alert rescue team during rocket launches at Cape Canaveral.
Not content to limit his service to others within the U.S. military, Quezada taught martial arts and self-defense classes for women and youth and firearm safety instruction. He also volunteers to aid families of deployed members with car maintenance and home repairs or simply to visit and raise the spirits of those whose family members are deployed.
“Selflessness,” which friend John Spiekermeier credits Quezada with teaching him, does not begin to describe the sacrifices and service Quezada has given to our country. In addition to his acts of service, Quezada is “a tenacious father and an extraordinary friend.”
Quezada exemplifies serving others before oneself and the utmost integrity. We are honored to name him this year’s Desert Storm Veteran Grand Marshal for the 2022 Phoenix Veteran’s Day Parade on November 11th at 11 a.m.
Read the stories of all the veteran Grand Marshals in our continuing blog series. You will also see them serve as grand marshals in the Veterans Day Parade in Phoenix on November 11th at 11 a.m. For more details about the marshals and the parade, go to 2022 Phoenix Veteran’s Day Parade – Honoring America’s Veterans (honoringamericasveterans.org)