Parade celebrates female Navy veteran

Ridgefield’s Memorial Day parade had a special honoree this year.

Joan Breves, a 95-year-old World War II veteran who served in the Navy and is in town visiting her niece this summer, rode in the front of the parade down Main Street on May 28.

“The American Legion's Memorial Day parade coordinator Denis Loncto was very happy to arrange for her to participate in our town’s parade,” said Vicky Flanagan, Breves’ niece.

“Her extended family … traveled into Ridgefield from all over to cheer on her and her brother, Joe (not pictured), who is also a veteran,” Flanagan added.

Breves, who lives in Berkeley, Calif. with her daughter, served in the Navy’s communications department during the war.

“She said she was a coder who took important Navy messages and put them into secret code and sent them out to the South Pacific.”

During the parade, she rode in the front seat of Bob DeFalco’s Mustang. Joe Schneider rode in the backseat.

Before moving to California, Breves lived in Brooklyn.

“She visits once or maybe twice a year as its hard for her to travel at her age,” Flanagan said.