Veteran of 3 wars regains prime parade spot - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

Veteran of 3 wars regains prime parade spot

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Call it crossed wires or unintended consequences. But an elderly war veteran was first invited to be Grand Marshal of this weekend's parade – then uninvited – then reinvited.

Here's what happened: The Alief International Parade routinely requests that the Houston Mayor serve as Grand Marshal, according to Marie Lee with the Alief Community Association.

Due to a misunderstanding, Lee believed Mayor Annise Parker had declined. So she asked retired Air Force Lt. Col. Ervin Rees to be the Grand Marshal.

"I mean, I think I would have enjoyed it," Rees told FOX 26 News. "And I know most of the people in Alief."

Erv Rees is an 89-year-old veteran of WWII, Korea and Vietnam. He has lived in the southwest Houston community of Alief since 1925.

But a few days later, organizer Marie Lee learned that Mayor Parker planned to lead the parade after all. Her next call was to Erv Rees.

"When I had to tell him that the Mayor was coming, he said, ‘Oh my goodness, the Mayor's coming to Alief?' I said sure," Lee recalled.

Stripped of his Grand Marshal title, Rees figured he'd watch Saturday's parade from what he calls his executive office. "You know where my executive office is?" Rees asked, rhetorically. "In front of Shipley's Donuts."

But after FOX 26 made a phone call, the Mayor's office got wind of what was going on behind the scenes. Mayor Parker's staff requested that Ervin Rees be reinstated to serve as co-Grand Marshal alongside the Mayor. And Rees accepted the offer.

So on Saturday, you can wave to Ervin Rees as he passes by, dressed in his military uniform.

For more information on the Alief International Parade on Saturday, Sept. 21 @ 9am, click here:

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