Long Islander serves as grand marshal in NYC's Veterans Day parade
A Long Islander and American hero served as the grand marshal of the 102nd annual Veterans Day Parade in New York City.
All eyes were on retired Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Kevin Carrick for the parade that returned in person for the first time in two years.
"It was exciting, it was kind of unexpected," Carrick says. "I've been retired 18 years."
Carrick was a pararescue man with the 106th Rescue Wing based in Westhampton Beach for 25 years and circled the globe twice during those tours.
He says the United War Veterans Council called the base back in September.
"They called the base and asked about people who were tied into 9/11 and also deployed to the Global War on Terror afterwards," Carrick says.
Carrick earned his role as Grand Marshal for meeting those criteria, but he did much more for the country before Sept. 11.
He helped coordinate rescue and recovery efforts following the crash of Flight 800 in 1996, as well as helping firefighters during the Sunrise Highway wildfires in 1995.
Carrick says his career has been "exciting."
"You never know where it's going to take you--every day is different," he says. "One day you're climbing the mountains, the next day you're out in the ocean."
He says he was proud and appreciative of the spectators and his fellow veterans.