Inmates build parade float in honor of veterans - New York News

Inmates build parade float in honor of veterans

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PHOENIX -

If you plan to attend or watch Monday's Veteran's Day parade in downtown Phoenix, pay special attention to float number 62. It was built by a group of state prisoners -- men who have devoted over 300 hours of time to pay tribute to those who serve.

For the past four weeks now, a crew of 15 men has labored and worked tirelessly, giving their time and talent to those who dedicated their lives.

"I'm attention to detail guy," says inmate Brian Mackey.

"It's tedious," says Desmond Ortiz.

"It's 100% from our hearts," says Freddie Solano.

"It was a chance to do something for the vets," says Britt Singleterry.

At first glance it appears an unlikely bunch. Medium security inmates at Lewis Prison in Buckeye.

Their orange uniforms are not the only common thread binding them this Veterans Day. It's the gratitude to those who have served and do serve, and their thanks is this parade float.

Some have family who have been or are overseas.

"My son right now is serving in the navy," says Singleterry.

Others are veterans themselves.

"You miss a lot when you're gone," says David Doogan.

The materials the inmates used to make these intricate floats are simple wood and big pieces of Styrofoam.

A Statue of Liberty. The New York skyline. a soldier greeting his son. All carved and painted by the inmates, placed on the 18 foot long float, number 62 of 88 that will make their way through downtown Phoenix on Monday.

"The sacrifice, the dedication," says Mackey.

The prisoners know it was their mistakes that cost them their freedom, but they hope to show others it was bravery that cost so many soldiers theirs.

The Arizona Credit Union sponsored the float. For the past four years, it has taken first prize in the category of non-profit government float.

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