2021 Independence Day parade grand marshals
“The Price of Freedom” is the theme of the 2021 Independence Day celebration in Blanding.
The immediate family members of a fallen US military member who died while serving in a time of conflict are known as Gold Star families.
Four of these Gold Star families will be recognized at the Blanding Independence Day celebration.
These four families in San Juan County paid the ultimate Price of Freedom when family members were killed in action as members of the United States military.
The families of Quinn Keith, Lyle Palmer, Nathan Winder, and Jason Workman will all serve as grand marshals of the Independence Day parade.
The parade will take place on July 3 beginning at 10 a.m.
In total, 28 local residents have been killed in action, beginning in World War I.
Lyle Palmer was killed in the Bien Hoa Province of South Vietnam on May 12, 1969 at the age of 25. Palmer, who held the rank of Specialist Five in the US Army, was killed after a deployment of nearly one year in Vietnam. He served in light weapons infantry and was killed by artillery rocket mortar.
Palmer is a San Juan High School graduate who had a large extended family. Palmer is buried in the Blanding City Cemetery.
Palmer will be represented in the Independence Day Parade by his nephew, Tom Palmer.
Quinn Keith was killed in Iraq on September 6, 2004 at the age of 22. Keith, a Lance Corporal in the Marine Corps, has been remembered by his family and friends for his love of wrestling, hunting, and Navajo Tacos. Loved ones also have memorialized his cheerful attitude and memorable smile.
Keith, who is the first of local residents to be killed fighting the War on Terror, is buried in the Blanding City Cemetery.
Quinn Keith will be represented in the Independence Day Parade by his mother, Leslie Laselute.
Nathan Winder was a Special Forces Medic who was killed in Iraq on June 26, 2007 at the age of 32. Winder, an Army Sergeant First Class, was born in South Korea and raised in Blanding. He is remembered for his smile and exuberance for life.
He entered the military after graduating from San Juan High School in 1993. Winder was selected to attend the Qualification Course to become a Special Forces medic. He earned the coveted Green Beret in 2006.
Winder is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
He is survived by his wife, Mechelle, son Logan, and a large extended family from Blanding.
Nathan Winder will be represented in the Independence Day Parade by his mother, Terri Winder.
Jason Workman was killed in Afghanistan on August 6, 2011 at the age of 32. Workman served as a member of the elite Navy Seal Team Six as a Chief Special Warfare Operator.
A 1997 graduate of San Juan High School, Workman is remembered for being a remarkable athlete and dedicated friend. He spent several years as a member of the Gold Squadron of Seal Team Six. He was killed, along with 38 other soldiers, when the Chinook helicopter they were in was shot down by enemy fire.
Workman is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
He is survived by his wife Stacey, son Jax, and a large extended family.
Jason Workman will be represented in the Independence Day Parade by his mother, Betty Workman.