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Patrick Youth to marshal July Fourth parade

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- One of Patrick's own will serve as the grand marshal in an Independence Day parade.

Tori Grissom, 6, daughter of Tech. Sgt. William Grissom, 45th Weather Squadron, and Stephanie Grissom, will be grand marshal of the Limestone Heritage Parade in Bedford, Ind.

The theme of the parade is "Coming Home." Sergeant and Mrs. Grissom, who are Bedford, Ind., natives, will be coming home for the holiday.

"Tori wanted to be home for her family," said Mrs. Grissom. "They're doing something new with grand marshals this year. They wanted someone from the military and their family, so she'll have Daddy ride along with her in uniform.

Tori and Dad will most likely be seated on the back of the grand marshal car, while the Grissom's son Kevin and Mrs. Grissom, will be seated in the car, said Mrs. Grissom. Sergeant Grissom's father, Bill Grissom, and Mrs. Grissom's mother, Sally Allen, will also get to sit with the Bedford mayor during the parade.

"We're really excited," Mrs. Grissom said. "We're especially excited since this will be our last time to go to this from Patrick. We've received orders for Leamonth, Western Australia, the solar observatory on the west side of Australia. Our report date is in March 2008 for two years, with a possibility to extend.

"They have whale sharks there, the world's second largest coral reef, emus running around, and kangaroos bouncing around; it sounds awesome," she said. "The highlight would be to go to the Australia Zoo, but it's clear on the other side of Australia." 

Back home, though, the July Fourth parade will take the family full circle.

"Another thing which is really neat about this is that when I was 4, I got to ride in a parade with my father, Roger Inman, who was in the National Guard," said Mrs. Grissom.