This year the Patriotic Council has chosen Roger Deal as the Honorary Parade Marshal for the Memorial Day observance.


Roger was born in Nevada, where he attended Milford and Nevada schools. His family moved to Ames, and he graduated from Ames High School in 1951. Following school, he worked briefly with the Chicago and North Western Railroad.


On Nov. 19, 1951, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and was trained as an aviation structural mechanic. He spent time maintaining the helicopters first at Helicopter Anti Submarine Squadron 3 in Weeksville, N.C., and then at Ellyson Naval Air Facility in Pensacola, Fla. While in Florida, he learned to fly helicopters. He was discharged from the Navy on November 18, 1955.


He learned he had skills that the military needed, and enlisted in the Air Force on December 12, 1955. His first assignment was with the 13th Fighter Interceptor Squadron of Sioux City. He was next assigned to Libya and then Saudi Arabia.


Roger worked in Air Force recruiting from April 1965 to August 1968. In March of 1969, his recruiting days were over and he was transferred to Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam. While in Vietnam, Roger supervised on-the-job training programs at the bases in Cam Ranh Bay, Vung Tau and Nha Trang, Upon completing his time in Vietnam, Roger was assigned to Edwards Air Force base in California, where he supervised the Ground Training program for the base. He retired from the Air Force January 1, 1972.


Roger holds several military decorations, including the Bronze Star, Air Force Commendation and Vietnam Service Medal.


Roger married the former Margaret Patterson. They have one daughter, two grandsons and two great-grandsons. He and Margaret were married for 46 years before her death in 2004. He is currently active in the American Legion and various community activities.