Saluting all who serve

Saluting all who serve

Saluting all who serve

By E. Adam Porter, Editor

 

The dogs started barking as he came up the walk. They are always excited to see him, as are his not-so-little-anymore brothers, who got to the door just seconds after the Golden Retrievers. My eldest son, Christian, was home for a visit. 

A year removed from finishing his six-year hitch in the United States Air Force, Chris had something on his mind to share with mom and dad. After a few compulsory minutes wrestling with his brothers, he sat down at the dinner table. I offered him a beer. 

So, I’m thinking about re-enlisting, he said. No preamble, just right into it. That’s Chris. Especially when he’s pretty close to a decision about something. Into the Army this time… he said. They have the job I want, and they’ll let me keep my rank. This was offered as tentative information, but I could tell his mind was, mostly, made up. More than mostly, it turned out. 

A few weeks later, I dropped Chris off at the recruiting office. He was scheduled to fly out for Basic Training early the next day. The first of many early days in his imminent future. And, now, we wait. It will be at least five weeks before we will hear from him. He’ll miss Thanksgiving, then Christmas, then New Year’s. He graduates One Station Unit Training (OSUT) on Valentine’s Day. Where to next? Only the Army knows. 

As I sit here, recalling that dinner table revelation, my mind drifts back about twelve years, to the day a 14-year-old kid sat down across from me at a different dinner table in a different house with something similar on his mind. Dad, I think I might want to go into the military. He was tentative then, just feeling out the idea. At 14, four years until graduation seems like an eternity. I told him I would be proud of him, no matter what he chose, and that his mother and I loved him, and wanted him to do what was right for him. Do some research, we said. Talk with family members and friends who served. Take what the recruiters tell you with a grain of salt

As I write this, Chris has just begun his first day of OSUT, along with thousands of other recruit trainees. Unlike most of them, he enters training as a sergeant and a seasoned veteran. Which, I’m sure, the Army DIs will make sure he remembers. It’s their job to prepare these brave young men and women to join the approximately 1.4 million Americans serving in the United States Armed Forces. 

In addition to those currently serving in either active duty or the reserves, there are, depending on your source and the year, between 18 and 22 million military veterans in the U.S. population. Nearly half of these are over 65 years of age. Many volunteered, others were drafted. What every one of them has in common is that, when their country called, they raised their hand. 

On November 11, we come together as a nation to honor their commitment and their sacrifice. A service is planned in SCC at Community Hall. Many others will be held throughout the Tampa Bay area, across the country, and around the world. Like as not, my son will spend the day rucking through the woods with his platoon. 

Tens of thousands of deployed Americans will spend the day set aside to honor them aboard ships with no land in sight, or in tents far from home, or on dusty roads somewhere in the desert or in the mountains of some global hotspot. Others will spend the day in tanks stationed along the DMZ in Korea, or in administrative buildings in Kuwait, England, or Germany. Some will be on training missions in undisclosed areas or piloting aircraft to enforce no-fly zones. They live and work and play on bases set behind tall fences, a world removed from civilian life; or they live next door, sharing the same roads, shopping at the same supermarkets, and sending their kids to the same schools as you and me. 

Over the past decade or so, it’s become cliché to “Thank a Veteran,” almost as reflexive as saying, “Happy Holidays.” While the impulse is good, we should be careful not to allow the well-wishes to become mundane. Honoring veterans, no matter when, where, or why they served, is the duty of every American. Whether or not we agree with the reasons or the wars, all of us who live in the Land of the Free should appreciate everyone who swore to “support and defend the Constitution, and to bear true faith and allegiance to the same…”

It’s the least we can do for those who put the most on the line. 

NOTE: Statistics taken from Pew Research, Department of Defense, the Department of Veteran Affairs, and the US Census.

Photo Credit: Military TImes (David H. Lipp/Air National Guard)

 

 

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Home for the Holidays with the 2019 Golf Cart Parade

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By Bob Sanchez

 

Mark your calendars for the Home for the Holidays Golf Cart Parade at 10 a.m. on Saturday, December 14. CA Director Larry Smith, the event coordinator, says that residents from Sun City Center, Kings Point, and Freedom Plaza are all welcome to decorate their golf carts and join in the fun. Entrants may be individuals or groups, including clubs, service organizations, HOA’s and businesses.

Over $1,000 in prizes will be awarded. There’s no cost to enter, and all entries have a chance to win. To participate, pick up an entry form at the front desk of the CA office and turn it in on December 9.

 

PHOTO: Drone photo by John Wakeman (News File Photo).

Home for the Holidays with the 2019 Golf Cart Parade

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Home for the Holidays with the 2019 Golf Cart ParadeBy Bob Sanchez Mark your calendars for the Home for the Holidays Golf Cart Parade at 10 a.m. on Saturday, December 14. CA Director Larry Smith, the event coordinator, says that residents from Sun City...

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Kings Point Arts & Crafts Fair – Nov. 9

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Kings Point Arts & Crafts Fair – Nov. 9

November 9, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

 

Free to attend! Kings Point North Clubhouse, 1900 Clubhouse Drive. Kings Point and SCC Area residents welcome. Items for sale will include: pottery, jewelry, quilts, ceramics, fine art, knits, holiday items, wood projects, stain glass art, and much more!

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Kings Point Arts & Crafts Fair – Nov. 9November 9, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Free to attend! Kings Point North Clubhouse, 1900 Clubhouse Drive. Kings Point and SCC Area residents welcome. Items for sale will include: pottery, jewelry, quilts, ceramics,...

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The “Hi, Neighbor!” Tradition Continues

The “Hi, Neighbor!” Tradition ContinuesDon’t miss it: November 7 at 6:30 p.m.By Bob Sanchez “Hi, Neighbor!” is coming to Community Hall on South Pebble Beach on November 7 from 6:30 until 8:30 p.m. Whether you’re new to Sun City Center or just want to see...

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In this issue… Tell us if you plan to light up your home for the holidays… Then, discover your need for speed with the Veterans Racing League, celebrate 55 years of “Neighbors Helping Neighbors” with the SCC Emergency Squad, see what’s blooming...

Candidate for Board Withdraws

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Kings Point Food Truck Rally

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Kings Point Food Truck Rally Monday, November 4, from 4 to 8 p.m.   Music by Sunset Social Club. Come enjoy Monsta Lobsta, Surly Mermaid, Whichpress, and Chief’s Chill Out Ice Cream! Food trucks under Portico Entertainment in the Veterans Theater....

The “Hi, Neighbor!” Tradition Continues

The “Hi, Neighbor!” Tradition Continues

The “Hi, Neighbor!” Tradition Continues

Don’t miss it: November 7 at 6:30 p.m.

By Bob Sanchez

 

“Hi, Neighbor!” is coming to Community Hall on South Pebble Beach on November 7 from 6:30 until 8:30 p.m. Whether you’re new to Sun City Center or just want to see what’s new with our clubs, this is the perfect event for you. Members of almost 100 clubs will be ready to answer your questions and pique your interest. Aston Gardens will supply cookies, coffee and iced tea that the Line Dance Club will serve.

“Hi, Neighbor!” is Sun City Center’s oldest tradition, having begun as the community’s first club in 1962. John and Linda Bowker gave it new life in 1992, and since then it has evolved as a showcase for our cornucopia of clubs. Event Director Claudia Hinson says that the event offers residents “a more personal connection to the clubs.” Janet Ditmore has volunteered to serve as 2019 “Hi, Neighbor!” Chair.

 

News file photo of 2018 “Hi, Neighbor!”

Home for the Holidays with the 2019 Golf Cart Parade

Home for the Holidays with the 2019 Golf Cart Parade

Home for the Holidays with the 2019 Golf Cart ParadeBy Bob Sanchez Mark your calendars for the Home for the Holidays Golf Cart Parade at 10 a.m. on Saturday, December 14. CA Director Larry Smith, the event coordinator, says that residents from Sun City...

Kings Point Arts & Crafts Fair – Nov. 9

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Kings Point Arts & Crafts Fair – Nov. 9November 9, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Free to attend! Kings Point North Clubhouse, 1900 Clubhouse Drive. Kings Point and SCC Area residents welcome. Items for sale will include: pottery, jewelry, quilts, ceramics,...

The “Hi, Neighbor!” Tradition Continues

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The “Hi, Neighbor!” Tradition ContinuesDon’t miss it: November 7 at 6:30 p.m.By Bob Sanchez “Hi, Neighbor!” is coming to Community Hall on South Pebble Beach on November 7 from 6:30 until 8:30 p.m. Whether you’re new to Sun City Center or just want to see...

The November 2019 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

The November 2019 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

In this issue… Tell us if you plan to light up your home for the holidays… Then, discover your need for speed with the Veterans Racing League, celebrate 55 years of “Neighbors Helping Neighbors” with the SCC Emergency Squad, see what’s blooming...

Candidate for Board Withdraws

Candidate for Board Withdraws

Candidate for Board WithdrawsBREAKING NEWS FROM THE SCC COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION Mike Burnham has withdrawn his name from the candidates running for the Board of Directors. Since the remaining three candidates — Eric Porr, Ron Matelski, and Bob Sullivan — are...

Kings Point Food Truck Rally

Kings Point Food Truck Rally

Kings Point Food Truck Rally Monday, November 4, from 4 to 8 p.m.   Music by Sunset Social Club. Come enjoy Monsta Lobsta, Surly Mermaid, Whichpress, and Chief’s Chill Out Ice Cream! Food trucks under Portico Entertainment in the Veterans Theater....

Kings Point Food Truck Rally

Kings Point Food Truck Rally

Kings Point Food Truck Rally

Monday, November 4, from 4 to 8 p.m.

 

Music by Sunset Social Club. Come enjoy Monsta Lobsta, Surly Mermaid, Whichpress, and Chief’s Chill Out Ice Cream! Food trucks under Portico Entertainment in the Veterans Theater.

Home for the Holidays with the 2019 Golf Cart Parade

Home for the Holidays with the 2019 Golf Cart Parade

Home for the Holidays with the 2019 Golf Cart ParadeBy Bob Sanchez Mark your calendars for the Home for the Holidays Golf Cart Parade at 10 a.m. on Saturday, December 14. CA Director Larry Smith, the event coordinator, says that residents from Sun City...

Kings Point Arts & Crafts Fair – Nov. 9

Kings Point Arts & Crafts Fair – Nov. 9

Kings Point Arts & Crafts Fair – Nov. 9November 9, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Free to attend! Kings Point North Clubhouse, 1900 Clubhouse Drive. Kings Point and SCC Area residents welcome. Items for sale will include: pottery, jewelry, quilts, ceramics,...

The “Hi, Neighbor!” Tradition Continues

The “Hi, Neighbor!” Tradition Continues

The “Hi, Neighbor!” Tradition ContinuesDon’t miss it: November 7 at 6:30 p.m.By Bob Sanchez “Hi, Neighbor!” is coming to Community Hall on South Pebble Beach on November 7 from 6:30 until 8:30 p.m. Whether you’re new to Sun City Center or just want to see...

The November 2019 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

The November 2019 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

In this issue… Tell us if you plan to light up your home for the holidays… Then, discover your need for speed with the Veterans Racing League, celebrate 55 years of “Neighbors Helping Neighbors” with the SCC Emergency Squad, see what’s blooming...

Candidate for Board Withdraws

Candidate for Board Withdraws

Candidate for Board WithdrawsBREAKING NEWS FROM THE SCC COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION Mike Burnham has withdrawn his name from the candidates running for the Board of Directors. Since the remaining three candidates — Eric Porr, Ron Matelski, and Bob Sullivan — are...

Kings Point Food Truck Rally

Kings Point Food Truck Rally

Kings Point Food Truck Rally Monday, November 4, from 4 to 8 p.m.   Music by Sunset Social Club. Come enjoy Monsta Lobsta, Surly Mermaid, Whichpress, and Chief’s Chill Out Ice Cream! Food trucks under Portico Entertainment in the Veterans Theater....

Veterans – Live Your Racing Dreams

Veterans – Live Your Racing Dreams

Veterans – Live Your Racing Dreams

By Kai Rambow

 

Have you ever wanted to race a motorized vehicle around a race track?  If you’re a veteran, then here’s a chance to make your racing dreams come true. A Veteran’s Racing League is being put together.  Experience is not required; volunteers will train you.  Some races will be held in the new year on both oval tracks and raceway type courses.

Jonathon Tepes Sharkey, a veteran himself, has driven this new initiative.  Sharkey, still races today, although he quickly points out that he needs help getting out of the race vehicles.  “We’ll help you see if this is something you’d like to do, and then help you prepare to race.”

Sharkey already has enlisted help from sponsors such as Motul.  They are working on keeping expenses as low as possible.  If you’d like to check it out, contact Jonathon at auracing@yahoo.com. The track is located at 14848 Speedway Drive, Wimauma, FL 33598, just off CR-672 (Balm Road).

Home for the Holidays with the 2019 Golf Cart Parade

Home for the Holidays with the 2019 Golf Cart Parade

Home for the Holidays with the 2019 Golf Cart ParadeBy Bob Sanchez Mark your calendars for the Home for the Holidays Golf Cart Parade at 10 a.m. on Saturday, December 14. CA Director Larry Smith, the event coordinator, says that residents from Sun City...

Kings Point Arts & Crafts Fair – Nov. 9

Kings Point Arts & Crafts Fair – Nov. 9

Kings Point Arts & Crafts Fair – Nov. 9November 9, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Free to attend! Kings Point North Clubhouse, 1900 Clubhouse Drive. Kings Point and SCC Area residents welcome. Items for sale will include: pottery, jewelry, quilts, ceramics,...

The “Hi, Neighbor!” Tradition Continues

The “Hi, Neighbor!” Tradition Continues

The “Hi, Neighbor!” Tradition ContinuesDon’t miss it: November 7 at 6:30 p.m.By Bob Sanchez “Hi, Neighbor!” is coming to Community Hall on South Pebble Beach on November 7 from 6:30 until 8:30 p.m. Whether you’re new to Sun City Center or just want to see...

The November 2019 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

The November 2019 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

In this issue… Tell us if you plan to light up your home for the holidays… Then, discover your need for speed with the Veterans Racing League, celebrate 55 years of “Neighbors Helping Neighbors” with the SCC Emergency Squad, see what’s blooming...

Candidate for Board Withdraws

Candidate for Board Withdraws

Candidate for Board WithdrawsBREAKING NEWS FROM THE SCC COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION Mike Burnham has withdrawn his name from the candidates running for the Board of Directors. Since the remaining three candidates — Eric Porr, Ron Matelski, and Bob Sullivan — are...

Kings Point Food Truck Rally

Kings Point Food Truck Rally

Kings Point Food Truck Rally Monday, November 4, from 4 to 8 p.m.   Music by Sunset Social Club. Come enjoy Monsta Lobsta, Surly Mermaid, Whichpress, and Chief’s Chill Out Ice Cream! Food trucks under Portico Entertainment in the Veterans Theater....