Homegrown U.S. Navy Seal Capt. Jason Ehret will lead off the 47th Annual Patriots Day Parade on March 2.
The parade association announced the selection of Ehret as the Grand Marshal and other honorees this week. The theme of the 2013 parade is All Together Now.
Ehret, a graduate of Laguna Beach High School, class of 1984, is deputy assistant chief of staff for resources, requirements and acquisitions for Naval Special Warfare Command, according to a San Diego financial group.
In a Financial Executives International newsletter, Ehret was described as tops at every level of service in the Navy — from SEAL to security strategist to resources procurement and acquisitions.
The newsletter touted Ehret's leadership in the USS Bonhomme Richard expeditionary strike group and the USS John C. Stennis carrier strike group, as executive office of SEAL Team 3, commanding officer Special Boat Team 2 and deputy commander at Special Operations Command-Forward Pakistan.
As captain of the Small Boat Team at the 2006 Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day Run in San Diego, Ehret said the day meant to him: "Service for country, sacrifice, honor, integrity and above all, teamwork."
The association also announced its choice of Dr. Joseph A. Pursch as the 2013 Patriot of the Year. Pursch served as a flight surgeon and chief of neuropsychiatry, among other duties, during his 20-year career in the Navy. He is currently in private practice in Laguna Beach.
Longtime political and environmental activists Bonnie and Arnold Hano were named Citizens of the Year.
The Hanos were instrumental in the passage of Laguna's 36-foot building-height limit, which led to the founding of Village Laguna. They also served in the Peace Corps.
Bonnie Hano is currently a member of the city's Heritage Committee. Arnold Hano, who celebrated his 90th birthday in 2012, continues to write and verbalize on issues that affect Laguna.
Laguna Beach High School seniors Michelle Brown and Brock Csira will be honored as Junior Citizens of the Year. They were selected for their achievements in leadership, scholarship, athletics and community service by the school faculty and staff.
Drake Martinez, recently named to the Orange County Register's 2012 All County Football Team, will be honored as the parade's Athlete of the Year.
Artists of the Year honors go to the Pageant of the Masters, which is celebrating its 80th anniversary this year.
The public will have a pre-parade opportunity to meet the honorees at the annual brunch from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Feb. 3 at Tivoli Terrace. Admission is $25, which helps defray some of the costs of the all-volunteer-organized parade.
For more information or reservations, call (949) 494-6016 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.