Veterans Pay Tribute to Departed Comrades

Veterans Pay Tribute to Departed Comrades

Veterans Pay Tribute to Departed Comrades

By Frank Kepley, CAPT USN (Ret.), News Military Correspondent

 

The Military Veterans Organization of Sun City Center sponsored a Memorial Day Tribute to deceased veterans on Monday Morning at 10 a.m. at the Kings Point Veterans Theater. The ceremony opened with a Grand Marshal Procession, led by the 2019 Grand Marshal, Sgt. James Glass, a Korean War veteran.  The Cadence was played by drummer Danny Chavez from the Praise Band, United Methodist Church. 

The Opening Ceremony and Posting of Colors was directed by Benny Blackshire USA (Ret), President of MOAA SCC Chapter and the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office Honor Guard.

LTC Blackshire welcomed and introduced the Honored Guests and CAPT Harry Benter gave the Invocation. The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Lt. Col. Gordon Bassett, USAF (Ret). The National Anthem was then led by James Feist, USAF (Vet).

The Honored Speaker, Colonel DJ Reyes, USA (Ret), was introduced by Maj. Jim Haney, USMC (Ret).  COL. Reyes retired from the Army with over 33 years’ service.  He earned his Bachelors, Masters, and Juris Doctor degrees from the University of Notre Dame, the US Naval War College, and Temple University School of Law.

As a community Advocate for Veterans issues at the local, state and national levels, DJ recently served as a DoD contractor in assisting Gulf Coast region veterans, Guard and Reserve with meaningful employment and useful Career Counseling. DJ continues his community service role as  the Senior Military Advisor/Mentor to the 13th Judicial Circuit’s Veterans Treatment Court (VTC). 

A tribute to the Grand Marshal was then given by Maj. Jim Haney, which was followed by a musical interlude and salute to the Armed Forces by the Trinity Baptist Church directed by Rev. James Feist. 

A Roll Call of departed comrades accompanied by the Living Flag Tribute was given by Mrs. Rosemary Clifton, USN (Vet); Rev. Lt Col Sam Rorer, USAF (Ret); Mrs. Beverly Gaussiran USA (Vet); and Rev. LTC Julian Graham ISA (Ret).

Taps was then played by Rev. Feist and the Rendering Bell Honors carried out by CDR Ed Socha, USN (Ret), Pearl Harbor Survivor assisted by LTC Paul Wheat, USA (Ret). Amazing Grace was then played by the Bagpiper, Mr. Jason Marchand and the Colors were retired.  A placing of the wreath, donated by the Sun City Center Funeral Home, was then placed by members of the Boy Scout Troop 661.

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This Memorial Day Weekend and every day, The Florida Aquarium remembers the fallen and thanks all military members and veterans for protecting and serving our country. Join them Memorial Day Weekend, Friday, May 24 – Monday, May 27, 2019, with amazing animals and plants that call the Aquarium home. The Aquarium is open every day: 9:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

During this upcoming holiday weekend, all active duty, veteran, retired or drilling reservist or National Guardsman can receive two free* general admission tickets. Additional guests (up to four people) also can get an exclusive 50% off Aquarium general admission ticket. To receive this ticket promotion, a valid military ID must be presented at The Florida Aquarium ticket office. Tickets are not available for advance online purchase.

While at the Aquarium, go from tree level to sea level and see more than 14,000 animals, including native Florida birds and otters, to sharks, alligators, seahorses and more. You are sure to have a fantastic experience. Sights include a large simulated wetlands environment located under a tall glass atrium, shallow bays, and beaches, and a coral reef ecosystem encompassed in half a million gallons of natural seawater.

After exploring all the exhibits inside, come aboard the 72-foot Wild Dolphin Cruise catamaran for a 75-minute excursion around Tampa Bay for a chance to see wild dolphins and seabirds in their natural habitat. (Reservations and an additional charge are required for the Wild Dolphin Cruise.)

To learn more about Memorial Day at The Florida Aquarium and all of the upcoming events offered at The Florida Aquarium year-round, visit the website.

 

*Offer includes any active duty, veteran, retired or drilling reservist or National Guardsmen and must be redeemed with a valid military ID at The Florida Aquarium Ticket Office. 

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In this issue…

Discover some beautiful art that tricks your senses; learn what happened when Governor Ron DeSantis came to town; save the date for the new Riverview VA Clinic Open House and Grand Opening, as well as the annual Memorial Day Ceremony. Get the scoop on some grant funds available for community beautification projects; view some gorgeous award-winning photographs; meet a local creative person; get to know the Multi-Cultural Heritage Club; find out who mans the phones for the SCC Emergency Squad; celebrate 30 years of ‘Marvel’ous imagination with The Comics Club; learn about local bus tours, and cruise through Chicago to explore some stunning architecture.

 

And be sure to…

Check out the SCC Bulletin, Kings Point, Community News, Dance, Military News, Faith & Service, Arts, Sports, Travel, and South County Events sections to help you plan your month. And travel with your friends and neighbors who took The News around the world.

 

Read the May 2019 Issue of The News

 

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