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Glendale resident to serve as grand marshal of Middle Village Veterans Day parade

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Paul J. Schottenhamel, who served in the U.S. Army, is the grand marshal for this year’s Middle Village Veterans Day parade. (Photo courtesy of Queens Veterans Day Parade Committee)

After a two-year hiatus, the Middle Village Veterans Day Parade will be celebrated on Sunday, Nov. 13, according to the Queens Veterans Day Parade Committee

The parade will commence at 2 p.m on Metropolitan Avenue at 80th Street and continue to Christ the King High Regional School near 69th Street. Along the parade route, residents will be waving flags and holding signs of thanks to the veterans. Following the parade, a public ceremony and reception honoring local veterans will be held at Christ the King. 

“This time-honored tradition brings many communities of Queens together to honor the men and women who have given years of service and sacrifice to our country,” Tania Broschart, committee chair, wrote in a letter. “Through combined efforts we hope we can succeed in making this year our best year ever, helping our veterans to once again feel the thanks they truly deserve.”

The grand marshal for this year’s parade is Paul J. Schottenhamel, who was born and raised in South Richmond Hill and has lived in Glendale since 1975. Schottenhamel was enlisted in the U.S. Army on April 22, 1968. He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant of Infantry in April 1969. 

After attending Airborne Training, Schottenhamel was assigned as a Rifle Platoon Leader with the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, NC. In October 1969 he received orders to go to the Republic of Vietnam, where he served as a Mechanized Rifle Platoon Leader with the First Infantry Division. When that division was withdrawn from Vietnam, he was transferred to the First Cavalry Division, again as a Rifle Platoon leader in Vietnam and Cambodia until he was wounded.

He returned home from Vietnam in October 1970, and completed his service obligation at Fort Benning, GA, with the 197th Infantry Brigade.

Upon leaving Active Duty in 1971, Schottenhamel served for the next 15 years in the 42nd Infantry Division of the New York Army National Guard. He served as an Infantry Company Commander, and staff officer positions at Battalion, Brigade and Division levels. He then transferred to U.S. Army Reserve, where he spent 11 years with the 1150th U.S. Army Reserve Forces School at Fort Hamilton, where he served as an instructor for the Command and General Staff Officer Course.

Schottenhamel retired with 29 years of service in 1997 at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He has been awarded the Combat Infantry Badge, Basic Parachute Badge, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Meritorious Service and Air Medals, two Army Commendation Medals and the Army Achievement Medal.

Schottenhamel worked for the telephone company (New York Telephone, NYNEX, Bell Atlantic and Verizon) for 34 years as a switching equipment technician, retiring in 2008. After 9/11, he volunteered to work for four months in the telephone building across the street from the destroyed World Trade Center helping to restore telecommunications damaged during the terror attack.

He joined the Glendale Civilian Observation Patrol in the 104th Precinct in 1988 and has been a member ever since. He has served four terms as president and two terms as vice president. He is a life member of Joseph B. Garity Post 562 of the American Legion in Glendale since 2001. He has served as post adjutant since 2003 to present, and post commander from 2012 to 2022.

Schottenhamel has represented his post for more than 20 years on the Allied Veterans Committee of Greater Ridgewood and Glendale, which organizes their annual Memorial Day Parade.

Schottenhamel has served as the Queens County Adjutant from 2009 to 2010, and 2012 to present. He was elected as county commander in 2015. In coordination with the NYC Department of Veteran Services, Schottenhamel coordinated the burials of more than 75 unclaimed veterans in Calverton National Cemetery. The program was put on hold due to the pandemic. At 10th District, Schottenhamel advanced through the chairs to finally serve as district commander in 2019. Due to the pandemic, his term was extended to a second year.

This year, Schottenhamel was elected Department of New York Area vice commander for the Second and 10th Districts. The Area includes Richmond, Kings, Queens, Nassau and Suffolk Counties. He is also a life member of Chapter 32, Vietnam Veterans of America and the 42nd Infantry “Rainbow” Division Association. Schottenhamel has been happily married to his wife Deborah since 1975. They have three married daughters and three grandchildren.

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