Nick Parnello is this year’s honoree—Vietnam Veteran’s Honor Society holds annual dinner & roast

StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-11799435403005.jpg’, ‘Photo by Nick Parnello Jr.’, ‘Nick Parnello receives The Eagle Award from fellow Vietnam veterans, Tony Circelli and Tony Bove.‘);

The Vietnam Veteran’s Honor Society held its seventh annual dinner and roast at 1 p.m., Sunday, May 20, at the Venetian Club, 2180 Elmwood Road, Rockford.

This event is held to honor a Vietnam vet who has distinguished himself with helping veterans in the community. This year’s recipient was Nick Parnello, who has dedicated the last 30 years to helping veterans. A founder of VietNow, he helped bring a health center to Rockford to aid veterans with their problems of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

As president of the Vietnam Veteran’s Honor Society, Parnello was instrumental in building the LZ Peace Memorial at Midway Village & Museum Center. More than 180 people attended this event to honor Nick “Black Jack Six” Parnello for his outstanding service to veterans.

Parnello is the seventh veteran to obtain an Eagle status. Previous honorees are Dan Jensen, Ray Hart, Pat Derry, Mike Lenker, Paul Cassioppi and Tony Bove.

Capt. Steve Cooper, Iraq vet chaplain, gave the invocation. John France provided an introduction to the moment of silence for all war veterans, and Iraq war veterans in particular, noting the struggles they are undergoing. Gino Cappini played taps.

Some of the roasters at the event included Paul Cassioppi, Tony Bove, Pat Derry, Mike Lenker (POW), Gen. John Borling, WROK radio personality Riley O’Neil, Winnebago County State’s Attorney Paul Logli, and Joanne Tkaedtz, a friend who dresses as “Sister Jo.” The highlight was a special appearance by professional comedian Manny “Rambo” Olivera. You may rememaber Manny for his comedy shows at the old Wagon Wheel and Thirteens. Manny flies in every year from Atlanta, where he works on a comedy circuit.

The Vietnam Veteran’s Honor Society is grateful to all those who have participated in and supported this event.

from May 23-29, 2007, issue

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