Larry D. Kay

Missouri Veterans Commission Executive Director Larry D. Kay.

The American Legion Post 297, Union, will welcome the state veterans commission deputy director next week to speak at the annual Memorial Day service.

The annual Memorial Day Parade and service will be Monday, May 28. The event features Missouri Veterans Commission Executive Director Larry D. Kay.

The Memorial Day parade will begin at 10 a.m. in downtown Union.

Those watching the parade are asked to refrain from parking in the lot across Locust Street from Union City Hall.

During the program, the Union High School Red and Black Brigade Marching Band will perform both verses of the national anthem.

Following the program, the East Central College Children’s Choir will perform and then the 399th Army Band from Fort Leonard Wood will perform.

Guest Speaker

Kay joined the Missouri Veterans Commission as deputy director in September of 2006 and was promoted to executive director in August 2008.

He was born in California, Mo., and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Westminster College, a master’s degree in health services management from the University of Missouri-Columbia, and a master’s of Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College.

In his civilian career, he has over 20 years of experience in hospital administration and health care management focusing on strategic planning, operational leadership, team building and communications. He has specific backgrounds in acute care, skilled nursing care and clinic leadership and operations.

As the executive director of the Missouri Veterans Commission, he is responsible for providing strategic leadership for the commission. This includes six Missouri state veterans cemeteries, seven Missouri State veterans homes with 1,350 beds and the Veterans Services Program responsible for bringing in over $1 billion to Missouri’s economy annually.

In his military career of over 31 years, Kay is a combat veteran of Desert Storm serving as the executive officer for the 1267th Medical Company (Air Ambulance) 1990-1991.

The mission of his air ambulance company was aerial evacuation of wounded, transportation of critical medical supplies and aerial search and rescue in the combat zone. He is qualified in both the Huey and Blackhawk helicopters and has served in command positions from platoon through brigade and task force levels.

Deployed in January 2008, Kay most recently served as commander, Multinational Task Force - East in Kosovo. As the senior U. S. Army commander in the Balkans, he was responsible for the deployment and performance of a brigade-size combat team to include active duty, National Guard and Reserve Airmen, Marines and soldiers from seven states and six partner nations in support of NATO Peacekeeping operations. Kay retired from the Missouri National Guard in September of 2010 at the rank of brigadier general.

He and his wife, Karen, reside in Boonville, Mo., and have three children, James, Anna, and Grady.

Parade Route

All nonpolitical entries are welcome to participate in the parade which will be led by the American Legion Post 297 Honor Guard.

Assembly for the parade will begin at 9:30 a.m. at the southeast corner of Locust and Church streets. Entries will line up along Locust Street leading back toward the Union Memorial Auditorium.

This year, those participating in the parade but not the program will be diverted at North Christina Avenue and State Street. Those participating in the program will continue to the American Legion Post 297 Home.

The parade route will be the same as in past years. It is as follows:

• From the intersection of Locust and Church streets, the parade will travel north on Church Street to Main Street;

• West on Main Street to Oak Street;

• South on Oak Street to Locust Street;

• West on Locust Street to Washington Avenue;

• North on Washington Avenue to Main Street;

• West on Main Street to Christina Street;

• North on Christina Street to State Street; and

• East on State Street to the American Legion Post 297 Home.