Air Force veteran named parade grand marshal

Published 10:34 pm Sunday, June 17, 2018

The Albert Lea-Freeborn County Chamber of Commerce on Friday announced the grand marshal for the annual Third of July Parade will be veteran Ruth Perry of Albert Lea.

Perry graduated high school in 1943 and enlisted in the Army Air Corps in 1944. She was stationed at Ft. George Wright in Spokane, Washington.

In 1948, the name of that service branch changed to the United States Air Force. She re-enlisted in the Air Force and spent the next 20 years of her military career in administration and recruiting.

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She was stationed in different areas, including Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Washington and Germany.

During her 20 years in the military, she served over the end of World War II, the whole Korean War and part of the Vietnam War. Her years in administrative recruitment were unsettling at times, she said in a press release, knowing some of the men and women she recruited may have to go to war.

She retired from the Air Force in 1964 and for 20 years was employed with the Social Security Administration in Minnesota until she retired in 1986.

At that time, she started looking for a place to call home that had fun and exciting volunteer opportunities.

“Albert Lea was the perfect choice for me,” she said in the release.

The parade is slated to begin at 6 p.m. July 3.

It will begin at the Freeborn County Fairgrounds and proceed south on Bridge Avenue, turn west on Fountain Street, south on St. Mary Avenue and end at Central Park.

Parade lineup will be published in the Tribune and will be on the chamber’s website at