GALLIPOLIS — The Veterans Day Parade and Ceremony will be Friday in Gallipolis, organized by the Gallia County Veterans Service Commission with Dutch Fridd as the keynote speaker.
All veterans, veteran service groups and community organizations are encouraged to participate. The Veterans Day Parade and Ceremony is to honor military veterans and demonstrate the community support for their service and sacrifice. The parade will start at 10:30 a.m. and end at Gallipolis City Park, with the ceremony beginning at 11 a.m.
Dutch Fridd is a 1967 graduate of Gallia Academy. After graduation, he joined the U.S. Army. When his basic training was completed at Fort Knox, Ky., he was assigned to the 191st Assault Helicopter Company in Bear Cat Vietnam to serve in Aircraft Avionics as a door gunner on a UH-1D Troop Carrier and a UH-C Helicopter Gunship. Still assigned to the 191st, his unit moved to Dong Tam and later to Can Tho Vietnam, where his tour was completed in 1969. He was honorably discharged from the Army in August 1970, and was a student at Ohio State University through June 1975.
Fridd’s military career was rekindled in March 1977 when he entered Warrant Officer Candidate School in Fort Rucker, Ala., and from 1977 to 1981 served as an “A” team scout pilot on an OH-58 helicopter, a maintenance officer, S-2 intelligence officer and a weapons officer. He completed the UH-60 Black Hawk course in May of 1981 and was deployed to Europe, where he had the opportunity to transport Vice President Bush, his staff and a congressional delegation to the West German border, along with many other dignitaries.
Later, he served as an instructor for the UH-60 Blackhawk pilot course and as a briefing officer as well as an academic instructor at Fort Rucker. His service continued with the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg as an Instructor Pilot for the UH-60.
In April 1994, he retired from the U.S. Army, having been awarded the Meritorious Service Medal / 2 Oak Leaf clusters, Army Commendation Medal / 4 Oak Leaf clusters, Army Achievement Medal, Good Conduct Medal, National Service Medal, Bronze Service Star, Crewman Badge and the Master Aviator Badge.
For the last 20 years has served as an air medical pilot/chief pilot for Mountain Area Medical Airlift in Asheville, N.C., retiring in August 2015.