Gilberto Landeros Jr. (Contributed photo)

Port Washington VFW Selects Grand Marshal For Memorial Day Parade

The Port Washington Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Henderson-Marino Post 1819 has selected Gilberto Landeros, Jr., as their 2024 Grand Marshal. Gil is a decorated veteran and retired USAF officer. The Memorial Day Parade is on Monday, May 27, 2024, with the step off starting at 10:00 a.m. at Campus Drive, and finishing at the Sunset Park Bandshell.

Landeros hails from central Texas. In high school, he was president of Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), a letterman for the football team and enjoyed a love for water sports. It was not until he saw the movie Top Gun as a college student at Texas State University, in San Marcos, Texas, that his career path became clear, and he focused all his attention on flying for the Air Force.

As an Air Force ROTC cadet, Landeros earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Texas State and was commissioned in 1988. He attended flight school at Mather AFB, Sacramento, California and received his wings upon successful completion of Undergraduate Navigation Training in 1989. His first operational assignment followed at Fairchild AFB, Spokane, Washington, where he flew in KC-135 Air Refuelers. He earned the Southwest Asia Medal during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. He also served in the closing of the Cold War, standing down one of the last lines on alert dedicated into the Single Integrated Operational Plan (SIOP) against the Soviet Union, hence his love for the movie, Dr. Strangelove.

Concurrently, Landeros participated in Operation Southern Watch, Operation Northern Watch, Deny Flight and Kosovo, Global War on Terrorism and Joint Task Force Lebanon, garnishing two Air Medals, a Meritorious Service Medal, and other honors including Academic Flight Instructor of the Year during his time with the Joint Naval Carrier Training Wing-6 at Naval Aviation School in Pensacola, Florida, where he was an Instructor Navigator (KC-135/T1-A/T39-NG). He also served as Flight Commander, Chief of Scheduling, Operations Officer, Staff Officer, Safety Department Head, Chief of Combat Operations, Targeting Effects Chief and acting Squadron Commander during his 20 years of service to our nation, with postings at Mountain Home AFB, Idaho, Maxwell AFB, Alabama, Aviano AB, Italy, Ramstein AB, Germany and Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona. Major Landeros retired in 2008.

While in service, Landeros earned his Master’s degree in Aerospace Science from Embry-Riddle University. He also attended Air Command and Staff College, Air University, Maxwell AFB, Alabama, and Aviation Safety at Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA.

After retirement, Landeros continued his career in aviation at General Dynamics, American Airlines and JetBlue. He also received his teaching certification from the University of Texas – Dallas for secondary level Government, Economics, Geography and History, where he was a member of the Honor Society.

Landeros’ community involvement is on-going, ranging from Hispanic organizations to church groups at his local parishes to local food pantries. He currently volunteers his time with Post VFW1819 as Adjutant and the People’s Pantry located in Oyster Bay.

Landeros relocated from the Great State of Texas following his marriage in 2019 to native New Yorker Erica (nee Bielemeier), who is an attorney by trade. They share four children, Meredith, Marcus, Christian, and Marc, plus one grandson, Kieran.

—Submitted by the Port Washington Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1819

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