Henry Desrosiers, Carbon Veterans Affairs director, will lead Jim Thorpe parade
Carbon County’s longtime director of Veterans Affairs, Henry Desrosiers, has been selected to serve as the grand marshal of the 25th Annual Jim Thorpe Halloween parade that will be held beginning at 2 p.m. Oct. 26.
Desrosiers, who lives with his wife, the former Catherine Lines, in Jim Thorpe, will have the honor of leading the parade, which is now in its 10th year of coordination by the Jim Thorpe Lions Club.
“Our committee selected Henry to be the grand marshal for this year’s parade in recognition of all of the work he does for our veterans,” said Lion Jim Trainer. “Henry was also a tremendous help to our (Lions) club when we did the hometown hero banner project in town.”
“It’s a great honor to represent the Borough of Jim Thorpe,” said Desrosiers, who will retire from county service later this year. “Just the idea of working with veterans for the past 11½ years is something that has been very rewarding to me. I totally embraced it and I’m proud of the accomplishments we were able to attain.”
The parade will begin at the Jim Thorpe Area High School, travel on Center Street to Ninth Street, proceed onto North Street and will continue until disbanding at Third and Center streets. Buses will shuttle participants back to Memorial Park, where there will be awards and refreshments for all of the parade participants.
Donations to help defray the costs of the parade will be accepted by the Lions Club along the parade route.
Anyone interested in participating or donating can contact Jim Trainer, 570-325-4104. The deadline for registrations is Oct. 21.
About the grand marshal
Desrosiers was born and raised in Naugatuck, Connecticut, graduating from high school there in 1971, then enlisting in the U.S. Air Force.
During a four-year stint, he served honorably as a law enforcement specialist at Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, 1971-73; Laughlin AFB, Del Rio, Texas, 1973-74; and Clark Air Base, Philippines, 1974-75. He assisted in the evacuation of South Vietnam in April 1975, and during his military career, received the Good Conduct Medal and the National Defense Service Medal.
After being discharged on June 28, 1975, he attended Mattatuck Community College, Waterbury, Connecticut, earning an associate degree in criminal justice. He was employed by the Uniroyal Footwear Company from 1976-77 before being hired by the Borough of Naugatuck on April 2, 1978. The 25-year police officer served as a patrol officer and Police Departments Training Officer. He was promoted to the rank of sergeant and to patrol supervisor positions before retiring on April 2, 2003.
He was a member of American Legion Post 17, Naugatuck, for 17 years before moving to Jim Thorpe and becoming a member of Post 304, where he serves as the service officer and treasurer.
Hired on Feb. 4, 2008, as the Director of Veterans Affairs for Carbon County, he is an accredited Veterans Service Officer with Pennsylvania’s Department of Military Affairs and the National Association of County Veterans Services Officers.
A member of the Pennsylvania State Association of County Directors of Veterans Affairs, he served as its secretary from 2012-2014, Eastern District vice president, 2014-2016, and president from 2016-2018. He is a voting member of the PSACDVA on the Pennsylvania State Veterans Commission and the Pennsylvania War Veterans Council.
From 2010-2018, Desrosiers served as the state association’s representative on the Gino Merli State Veterans Center Advisory Board, Scranton, and from 2014-2016, he was a representative on the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania Human Services Board.
He and his wife have two daughters, Laura and Jaclyn; and two granddaughters, Avery and Piper.