WWII Veteran to Serve as 4 th of July Parade Grand Marshal

World War II veteran, Avon Hall, will serve as grand marshal for the 2017 Ames Main Street 4 th of July Parade. This year marks 75 years since the 98-year-old enlisted in the Navy on July 6, 1942. “They were trying to draft me into the Army, so I joined the Navy,” said Hall. “I guess you could say I was dodging the draft!” Avon served in the South Pacific as an aviation ordnanceman taking care of ammunition and bombs on planes. Despite enlisting in the Navy, he says he spent more time in the air than on the water. He returned to Story County and settled in Ames in 1945 with his wife. Avon was born in Colo, IA in 1919 and that is where he met his wife of 55 years, Lila. The couple was married before Avon went off to war. “She worked at a café in Colo and I worked at the service station across the street,” said Hall. The couple had five children, eight grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. Lila passed away in 1997. Most afternoons you will find Avon at the American Legion post 37, in downtown Ames, where he has been a member for 72 years. He goes there to meet with old friends and have someone to talk to. He says there aren’t many World War II veterans like him left in Ames. “I personally know two in Ames,” Avon said. “I am sure there are more, but not many.” Avon will be driven in the parade by his friend, Sandy Lawrence. Below is a list of all of the events happening on the 4 th of July in downtown Ames: • City Hall Pancake Breakfast – 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. – 515 Clark Ave. • Bill Riley Talent Competition – 9 to 11 a.m. – Main Street & Burnett • Dock Dog Competition – 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. – 500 Block of Burnett • Parade – 11 a.m. start – Main Street, Douglas, and 5 th Street in downtown Ames