TOMS RIVER – The Township’s Veterans Day Parade will honor all veterans, and will have three Grand Marshals as it marches through downtown Toms River on Nov. 13.
Sgt. George Tyler McGibbon, 1st Sgt. Thomas Jones, and Brigadier General Robert V. Paschon will have a place of honor. The township provided information about their careers.
Sgt. George Tyler McGibbon was born and raised here, participating in the U.S. Army Future Soldier Program during his senior year at Toms River High School East. After his training, he was a U.S. Army Cavalry Scout, stationed at Fort Riley in Kansas with the First Infantry Division, 2nd Battalion, 34th Armor Regiment. Part of his job involved piloting remote controlled surveillance drones.
During his first deployment to Camp Buehring in Kuwait in 2014, he was involved in an incident when a Humvee rolled over. As a result, he suffered traumatic brain injury and multiple other injuries. He was in a coma for three months. After numerous therapies and surgeries, he was declared medically retired and 100 percent permanently disabled.
First Sgt. Thomas Jones was born in Toms River, and enlisted in the army in 1993. He began his career at basic training in Fort Jackson, South Carolina.
He worked his way up through the ranks, being assigned to the 5th Engineer Battalion, then became Battalion Communications Team Chief. Later, he was the Joint Communications Chief for the Special Operations Command in Afghanistan. A number of other ranks and assignments followed, before his final assignment as the 2nd Brigade ROTC S-3 Operations Noncommissioned in Charge.
He had been awarded the Bronze Star Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters as well as a list of other awards and commendations.
Brigadier General Robert V. Paschon was appointed Deputy Adjutant General in 2001. He is a certified accountant and attorney who currently has his own law practice.
He enlisted in the New Jersey Air National Guard in 1961, quickly becoming 2nd Lieutenant three years later. A series of promotions were to follow before achieving federal recognition as a Brigadier General in 1990.
Among his awards are the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster, and the New Jersey Medal of Honor.
“These three grand marshals are the perfect embodiment of the legacy of service that our military share. They represent the centuries-old tradition of our veterans who continue to serve their community after their service to our nation is concluded. As Americans, it’s our duty to honor and thank our veterans, today and every day,” said Mayor Thomas Kelaher, a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the Marine Corps Reserve.
The parade will start at 9:30 a.m. at the Toms River Shopping Center on Route 37. It will travel south on Route 166, then east onto Washington Street. Here, the parade will end with a ceremony at Town Hall with speakers and guests. A wreath will be placed there at the monument for veterans.