Joseph Spetly, a 47-year resident of Weston, will lead Monday's parade as the 2011 Grand Marshal and will speak about Memorial Day at the Town Hall's gazebo afterward.
"I like everything about Weston. There's no place like it," said Spetly. "After being here for a period of time, I decided I wanted to give back some of the things I was enjoying. So, I joined the fire department." Spetly has been an active member of the Weston Volunteer Fire Department for 45 years and was instrumental in forming the First Aid Squad, which is now Weston Emergency Medical Services.
When he was 18, Spetly was drafted and stationed in Washington, D.C., as part of the military police. He served on the honor guard at Arlington National Cemetery and patrolled the roadways around the Pentagon. He made sure soldiers were "properly dressed with a hat and tie," and it was his job to make sure they got safely on their trains home.
"There was so much to see and do. I was doing my service and enjoying it because I was where I was," said Spetly, who took four tours of the White House and visited Gettysburg, Pa., four times as well. He also climbed up and down the Washington Monument and visited the Jefferson Memorial.
Spetly moved from Chicago to Weston as a manufacturing representative. He worked part time driving school buses before going to work in the morning. When his manufacturing job "went by the wayside," Spetly switched to full time with the bus company and was manager of the school bus garage for 30 years until retiring in 2002.
"Memorial Day means a great deal to me. I'm proud to be able to do my part in the service," said Spetly. His advice to young people is that "they should definitely read what's happening and try the best they can to get involved in politics and see what's going on so when they become voters, they'll have a better background in making proper decisions."
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