Lt. Col. Alfred “Mack” Skaggs named Grand Marshall

BECKLEY, WV (WOAY) – After the American Legion’s reverse parade at the airport was canceled, organizers quickly throw together an event to honor veterans.

Every year, American Legion Post 32 puts on a Veterans’ Day parade and names a Grand Marshall.

“Mack is very deserving of the title of Grand Marshall,” said sixth district commander Ellis Vest Jr. “For many years, he’s worked behind the scenes and promoted others to be Grand Marshall, so we thought it would be fitting for [2020 to be his turn] as Grand Marshall.”

Due to coronavirus concerns, things would have to be different this year, so they planned a reverse parade. Unfortunately, the weather made it so even that couldn’t happen.

“We brought the event inside,” said Vest. “[We’re here today] to honor him and his many years of service in the army and also to the American Legion.”

The short ceremony and lunch was held to honor this year’s Grand Marshall, Lt. Col. Alfred “Mack” Skaggs.

“I joined a legion right after I got off active duty, but I didn’t become active until about 20 years ago,” said Skaggs. “It’s an honor and a privilege to be chosen as Grand Marshall.”

After years of his service, he said it’s humbling to see so many people in attendance just to honor him.

“The people should be honoring those who served and gave their lives in service to their country, but it’s a humbling experience and I very much appreciate it,” said Skaggs.

Kassie Simmons
Kassie Simmons joined the team in January 2019 as a weekend journalist. She graduated from Virginia Tech in just two and a half years with a BA in multimedia journalism. During her short time at Virginia Tech, she served as the editor for the university’s chapter of The Tab. Kassie was named the top reporter for The Tab at Virginia Tech on multiple occasions and made the list for the top 30 reporters for The Tab in the U.S. She also studied theater performance and minored in creative writing. Before coming to WOAY, Kassie interned at WSLS in Roanoke and the Tidewater Review in her hometown of West Point, Va. She has loved following breaking news since her childhood and has a passion for delivering the stories people care most about. Kassie is excited to be working in Southern West Virginia and looks forward to all the adventures ahead of her. You can follow her on Twitter at @KassieLSimmons and like her page on Facebook. If you have a story you think she should check out, send her an email at ksimmons@woay.com.