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.
World War II Veteran, U.S. Army veteran Samuel Weinstein
America’s Greatest Generation…the generation that danced through the Roaring 20s, survived the Great Depression, went on to fight in WWII, and gave us the Golden Age of Hollywood and U.S. Army Veteran Samuel Weinstein, whose courage and resolve epitomize the heart of the generation.
Stronger and more resilient than his wiry frame might suggest, Weinstein was denied his request to become a paratrooper and was instead a rifleman and member of E Company of the 103rd Infantry Division. Distinguished hardly describes his time in France where, in 1945, his patrol withdrew amidst heavy fire, and Weinstein dragged a wounded soldier to safety, administered first aid, and then carried him more than 200 yards across exposed terrain to safety.
Weinstein’s military career was ended abruptly by a bullet to the mouth from a German sniper. After a tracheotomy and reconstructive surgery, Weinstein became a sheet metal worker and spend 40 years on the heating and air conditioning business, during which time he survived lung and prostate cancer. Weinstein credits and thanks the VA Hospital for taking care of him after World War II and in the years that followed. His daughter, Lori Bruggeman, describes her father as “…a survivor and my hero.”
Bruggeman recalls he “…is a true patriot [who] loves his country. He grew up during the Depression and learned a great work ethic and passed that on to his children. Weinstein’s resiliency continues even as he approaches his centennial birthday. He continues to live independently at 98 years old while still battling lung cancer.
We are in awe of and admire Sam Weinstein’s courage, strength, and resilience and are honored to name him this year’s World War II Veteran Grand Marshal for the 2022 Phoenix Veteran’s Day Parade, November 11th at 11 a.m.
In the coming weeks, you will read the stories of all seven veterans here 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 www.honoringamericasveterans.org.