The 71st annual Armed Forces Day celebration and parade in Hawthorne is scheduled this year for Friday May 20. A large number of events will be happening again this year, as well as some new ones as the celebration moves further into its seventh decade.

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Armed Forces weekend is heading into the home stretch of planning with the event just a little over a month away.

A website has been established for people to see that all of the events are. Log onto this website for more on what the events to this year’s observance will involve. The website is

For those interested in attending this large, one of a kind observance from out of town, it is recommended that you go about making motel and RV park reservations before they get filled up.

Walker Lake also has a host of beachside areas if you’re up for dry camping. Firstcome, first-serve. And the community of Schurz, 30 miles north of Hawthorne, has a dry camping area. Call Four Seasons Smoke Shop, (775) 773-2588.

A list of motels and camping spots in the area is included in the online brochure.

Also included is a brief report on the history of Armed Forces Day. In part is states that under President Harry Truman.

In part the history of Armed Forces Day stems from U.S. Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson, who on August 31, 1949 announced the creation of an Armed Forces Day to replace separate Army, Navy and Air Force Days. The single-day celebration stemmed from the unification of the Armed Forces under one department—the Department of Defense. Each of the military leagues and orders was asked to drop sponsorship of its specific service day in order to celebrate the newly announced Armed Forces Day. On the same day, President Truman.

In a speech announcing the formation of the day, President Truman “praised the work of the military services at home and across the seas” and said, “It is vital to the security of the nation and to the establishment of a desirable peace.”

Later in 1950, Truman set aside May 20, to mark the first Armed Forces Day, the first combined demonstration of America’s defense team in progress by America’s defense team in its progress under the Nation Security Act, toward the goal of readiness for any eventuality.

The parade will take place at Noon eastward on U.S. 95 all the way to Veteran’s Park.

A special exhibit in honor of the soldiers who lost their lives in the Iran and Iraq wars is on permanent display at the Hawthorne VFW hall, created by Western Nevada College.

Whitney said they expect to have the crowd pleasing Monster Truck driven by military veteran Joe Cyphers from Reno in the parade and also given demonstrations at various times.

It was also confirmed recently on social media by Whitney that there will be an array of inflatable bouncers set up, possibly at the MCHS football field. Regular slides, water slides, an obstacle course and about seven more were being advertised this week for the event.

Another observance she mentioned is titled “ALWAYS LOST: A Meditation on War, It is an ongoing exhibit at VFW Post 2313, 890 A St., Hawthorne, NV.

A couple of new events for Armed Forces Day will be a golf tournament held at the Walker Lake Golf Course, Contact Molly Walt at 775-687-4680, Ext. 3 for entry applications, sponsored by the Nevada Rural County RSVP.

Also this year will be the return of the Miss Armed Forces Day pageant, which could not be held this past couple of years because of COVID restrictions. Whitney said invitations for participants and as well as parade entrants have already been sent out.

There will likely be the usual array of vendors and interesting items along main street and those entry forms have already been sent out last month she said, “but we have received quite a few requests for them. And we have sent entry forms for new parade entries that have contacted us as well.”

She said that some of the high school students have decided to head up some mud games, both days of the celebration, including mud volleyball and mud tug of war to be held somewhere around the VFW Hall.

The end of the popular parade is the carrying of the enormous America flag from the beginning of the parade route to Veteran’s Park.

It is also expected that a dazzling display of fireworks will be shot off Friday night May 20th at 9 p.m. from the roof of the El Capitan Casino.