Boise 2016 Veterans Day Parade honors women

Posted at 5:14 PM, Nov 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-05 19:27:02-04

With more than 2,700 people in the procession alone, one of Idaho's largest parades took to the streets of downtown Boise Saturday.

The start of 2016 served as a new era in military history with restrictions lifted for women service members in combat roles. All military positions are now open to women. This paved the way for this year's Veterans Day Parade theme, A Salute to Women in Uniform, with two grand marshals leading the way. 

"Service for me, it's been the greatest thing I've ever done," said Command Sgt. Major Linda Burkhart, 2016 Boise Veterans Day Parade grand marshal.

Burkhart is the first female in the Gem state to hold the rank of command sergeant major for the Idaho Army National Guard. Already being recognized with several awards throughout her career, including the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, she is honored to be a part of this year's parade.

"It's important that we remember our fellow soldiers and what we've done, all of our service members," Burkhart said.

Fellow Grand Marshal Col. Stephanie Sheppard serves as the 124th mission support group commander for the Idaho Air National Guard.

Both grand marshals are taking time out to celebrate those who have served in the past, as well as local military members who are currently deployed.

"This is a wonderful time to be part of the military," Sheppard said. "The military folks work hard every day, we love what we do, we're excited about what we do and to have people in the community participate in this parade is fantastic."

Early Veterans Day celebrations continue in the Treasure Valley Sunday, Nov. 6 with a breakfast at the Warhawk Air Museum in Nampa. It runs from 8 a.m. until noon with the flag presentation at 9 a.m. Veterans receive a discount at the door.