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Melville Named Grand Marshal

By Nancy Gross

The 10 members of the Independence Day Committee unanimously chose Wilma Melville, of the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation, to be this year’s grand marshal for Ojai’s Fourth of July parade. Melville and her organization are sources of hometown pride, and national and international heroism.

Committee member Nancy Hill said the parade has taken place since 1921, the year her uncle was the grand marshal, both in Ojai and Oak View. “This particular committee formed 45 years ago. We are the people who do the work and actually put on the parade,” Hill said.
“Last year we had our veterans come in,” Hill said, adding that the 40 veterans marked a proud, historic moment for the parade. The committee tried to find an act to follow that one. They came up with the idea of honoring Melville and the unusual heroes her foundation trains. “We’re hoping to get some of those dogs in the parade. Those dogs are so special,” Hill said.
Melville said, “It’s certainly an honor. No doubt about it. I’m pleased to carry out the tradition.”
Melville plans to have at least one dog with her. “I’m going to bring Abby, a dog that went on numerous deployments. The largest was the World Trade Center. She was also at the

Committee member Nancy Hill said the parade has taken place since 1921, the year her uncle was the grand marshal, both in Ojai and

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