Former Baseball Player, Medal of Honor Recipient Leads Parade Saturday
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - Former baseball
Vargas will be the Grand Marshall of the Northern Arizona
Homecoming parade Saturday morning. Vargas, a native of Winslow,
played baseball at NAU from 1957-61, earning All-Frontier
Conference selection. He received his bachelor of science in
education in 1961.
“Coming back to NAU has always been an honor,” said Vargas. “It humbles you. This represents the Medal of Honor Society and I am coming home as the only recipient the university has ever had. But where I am honored mostly and humbled is that they are honoring all the veterans that attended NAU and served this nation.”
The theme for Homecoming this year is “Flashback Jacks: America Through the Years” with Special Recognition for NAU Alumni Military Veterans.
Vargas received the Congressional
Medal of Honor from President Nixon in 1970 for his actions while
serving in the Republic of Vietnam. He was also was a recipient of
the Silver Star, the Purple Heart with four Gold Stars: the Combat
Action Ribbon; the Meritorious Service Medal; and the Vietnamese
Gallantry Cross with Silver Star and Palm. He retired from the
Marine Corps with a rank of Colonel in 1992 and currently lives in
The Homecoming parades starts at 11 a.m. in downtown Flagstaff. NAU Alumni Veterans march with NAU ROTC units in the perennial favorite, saluted by a military flyover of F-16s. The parade starts at the corner of Elm and Beaver.