Monday, April 22, 2013

Orlando area veterans events

Cathy Haynes has been busy again. Lots to do for veterans coming up. More events
American Hero Fest – THIS Sun. Apr.28 at Old Town in Kissimmee. Join the Thank You to men and women of the Armed Forces, Police, Fire and Emergency Services at 2pm for the Appreciation Ceremony at the mid-town Stage; 4pm is Live Entertainment and 8:30 pm starts the Parade and Truck Cruise. Blood Mobile present for donation. Old Town is at 5770 W. Irlo Bronson Hwy, (SR 192) Kissimmee, 34746. POC: Rachel McIntee at 407-396-4888
Packaging for the Troops - Sat. May 4 at 10am. KISS – Kids in Support of Soldiers (KISS) ask for help with filling care packages and items to put in them. Old Glory American Legion Post 183, 2706 Wells Ave. Fern Park / Casselberry, 32730. email: 321-279-6092
Fantasy of Flight – May 3-4 – Special event/exhibit – Normandy and Beyond. An aviation related attraction that features a great aircraft collection with fighter planes, airplane restoration, aircraft history. Open every day 10am – 5pm. 1400 Broadway Blvd SE, Polk City, 33868 Located midway between Tampa and Orlando on I-4 at Exit 44. 863-984-3500
Vietnam Veterans Recognition Celebration – Sat. May 18. Parade starts at 10am on Main Street Main Street & Disston Avenue, Tavares, 32778 in Lake County. Recognition and Honor Ceremony at 12noon in Wooten Park – notable keynote speaker is Capt. Charlie Plumb, USN(R) - a POW in Vietnam for six years. Info on website: POC: George Wanberg at 352-250-9728
Free and Sponsors welcomed!!!
2013 Florida Veterans Benefit Guide – The Florida Department of Veterans Affairs has released the 2013 edition. This is a valuable resource sponsored by the Florida Veterans Foundation. It provides 24 pages of information about the State and Federal benefits available to veterans and how to get them.
Online: FDVA Benefit Guide:
Also visit:
Cpl. Larry E. Smedley National Vietnam War Museum (aka “The Bunker”) - at 3400 North Tanner Road Orlando, FL 32826. New website at:
The museum is a place full of knowledge, experiences, and memories. It is here that you will discover many unique and historical artifacts of the Vietnam Era. Open to the public with FREE admission on Saturdays from 10:00am to 5:00pm, and Sundays from 10:00pm to 4:00pm. Private and educational tours can be scheduled with prior agreement and confirmation with the museums staff. Hours of operation are subject to change due to restoration in progress.
Museum of Military History –5210 West Irlo Bronson Highway - located west of SR 535 on SR 192 Kissimmee, FL – near the Poinciana Blvd. intersection on the south side of the road.; "Educating the world about the cost of freedom" with educational exhibits starting with the Civil War, incorporating World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Gulf War and leading the visitor up to the most current pages of our military history in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Hours of 10 am to 6 pm on Tuesdays thru Sunday (Closed Mondays.) For more information call 407 507-3894
Kissimmee Air Museum and Warbird Adventures - 233 N Hoagland Blvd, Kissimmee, 34741. It houses vintage aircraft from WWII to Vietnam including an outdoor showroom. It is a working museum with restorations of vintage aircraft in progress. Mon-Sat hrs. 9am – 5pm, closed Sundays. 407-870-7366.

Naturally the big one is this weekend

26th Annual Vietnam and All Veterans Reunion - Thurs. Apr. 25 – Sun Apr. 28 - - in Melbourne, at Wickham Park, 2500 Parkway Dr., Melbourne, 32935. This is one of the largest veterans events in Florida and the southeastern US, growing and welcomes all vets. The Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall arrived on April 21 and is open 24 hrs until Sunday night. Need patches for your service or any patriotic or military item? It will be here! Much to see and appreciate.
Museum of Military History – Wed. April 24 – Civil War series of hands-on programs concludes at 4PM with “Civil War Era Sheet Music” presented by the Museum at 5210 West Irlo Bronson Hwy., Kissimmee, 34746. Roger Heiple of Kissimmee, noted U.S. Civil War historian, will conduct a program series for the public of these insightful, entertaining and educational programs. 407-507-3894.
Greeters needed! 3 Honor Flight hubs are taking their trip to Washington DC on Sat. April 27. Greeters are needed to welcome the WWII veterans home after their eventful day. 75 veterans from Central Florida, Space Coast and Villages hubs will take the day long trip to visit the WWII Memorial, Arlington Cemetery, Korean War and Vietnam Wall Memorials and others. Come welcome them, the guardians and staff home at the airport in the evening! They return to Orlando Int’l Airport (MCO) from Baltimore (BWI) at about 8:30 pm aboard Southwest Airline #1407 at Terminal A, Airside 2 (gates 100-129). Free parking and transportation to terminal has been arranged at an off-site facility… Contact Cathy at 407-239-8468 to get the location and password!
Vietnam War Memorial Dedication Ceremony – Sat. April 27 at 10 am, Orlando Veterans Memorial Park, 2380 Lake Baldwin Lane, Orlando, 32814. Across from the Orlando VA Medical Center. Sponsored by the Vietnamese-American Memorial Committee.
Korean War Veterans of America (KWVA), Department of Florida, will have its annual convention on Fri. May 3 to Sun. May 5 at the Hilton Orlando/Altamonte Spgs Hotel, 350 Northlake Blvd., Altamonte Spgs, 32701. Local KWVA Chap.#173 will host. This year will mark the 60th anniversary of the end of the war on July 27, 1953 – despite recent occurrences... Contact Commander Chuck Travers, 407-252-7447
Veterans Job Fair (Orange and Lake Counties) – Friday, May 10 sponsored by WorkForce Central Florida. 10 am – 2 pm at Ferncreek Armory - 2809 South Ferncreek Avenue, Orlando, 32806. AND 10am – 2pm at American Legion # 52, 300 North 3rd St. Leesburg, 34748. (407) 531-1232 ext. 3314
3rd Annual Operation Giveback 5K/10K/15K Run.Walk.Roll & Warrior Kids Race – Sat. May 11 at the University of Central Florida main campus in Orlando. See website for list of events and registration. This local 501(c)(3) assists wounded warriors and their families. Orlando Harley donated a 2013 Harley Davidson Street Glide motorcycle for a sweepstakes prize with maximum of 400 entries. Flier available.
Spring Thunder Run – Sat. May 11 hosted by American Legion Post 163 in Melbourne. Benefits go to local veterans – in nursing homes, the homeless, and DAV. $10 per bike/car, $5 passenger. Lots of surprises, food, live music. 1795 N. Harbour City Blvd., Melbourne, 32935. Membership Drive - Free Legion Rider membership if you join the Post for the event (DD214 required for eligible conflict/wartime vets) but all current active duty are eligible. Info: 321-544-1090. Flier available.
Veterans Outreach Foundation, Inc. (VOF) is hosting their 2nd Annual Charity Golf Tournament to benefit the Haley House Fund, Inc. of Tampa. Sat. May 18 at Orange County National Golf Center and Lodge (Panther Lake Course) 7am registration, 8:30am tee time, 4-man scramble, shotgun start, $100 per player. The fund provides assistance for temporary housing and transportation to families of critically wounded service members being treated at the James A. Haley VA Hospital in Tampa – one of only five military Polytrauma Rehabilitation Units in the country. On-course events include farthest drive, closest-to-pin, and hole-in-one with a grand prize of a 2013 Honda Accord! Sponsorships are available, 100% of proceeds benefit the charity. Entry fee includes golf, lunch, giveaways, and entry to silent auction. For more information or to register a foursome, contact Brandan Holbrook at 407-437-5922 or email
Seminole County Homeless Veterans’ Stand Down preparations are underway for Sat. May 18, (Armed Forces Day) at the Seminole County Health Department. Stand Downs typically provide services such as food, shelter, clothing, health screenings, VA and Social Security benefits counseling; as well as referrals to a variety of other necessary services, such as housing, employment and substance abuse treatment. 125 volunteers are needed. If you would like to volunteer for the Stand Down, go to: Seminole County Homeless Veterans ; and click on the Stand Down link. The Stand Down is paid for through donations, anyone who would like to contribute financially may send your tax exempt donation to the Homeless Services Network of Central Florida, ATTN: Sean, PO Box 547068, Orlando, FL 32854-7068 (mark it for the 2013 Seminole Stand Down); the Homeless Services Network is a 501(c)3 organization and your donation is tax exempt. Flier available.
Commander’s Call - Sat. May 18 at 10am – 4pm at the Museum of Military History located at 5210 West Irlo Bronson Hwy, Kissimmee, 34746. This ongoing program is held on the 3rd Sat. of each month is designed to appeal to families, military memorabilia collectors, history buffs, re-enactors and others interested in military history. In addition, persons interested in displaying, trading or selling their military items such as honor coins, swords, photographs, military buttons, scale model boats and planes, military art, uniforms or other equipment should register in advance by calling the museum to reserve a spot. Re-enactors and veterans are also welcome to come in uniform to add to the history and authenticity of the military experience. Non-military booths such as healthcare providers, home improvement, local attractions or other businesses are also invited to be vendors for a minimal donation. Call 407-507-3894 for further information or to register your table space.
Homes for Our Troops – Sat. May 18 – 10 am Groundbreaking ceremony for specially adapted home for Army SSG Luke Murphy in Tallahassee. Please share this info with your friends in that area. This 501(c)3 organization is also active in Central FL and has some local corporate sponsors.
6th Annual Memorial/National Armed Forces Day Event and Freedom Ride – Sat. May 18; Activities begin at 10am at Stormy Hill Harley-Davidson at 2480 U.S. 27, Clermont, 34711. $10 tickets benefitting DAV. Live music, free lunch and “Freedom Isn’t Free” event pin to first 300 who register. See website for list of events. Ribbon signing which will be placed on wreath, at abt. 2pm Police escorted Freedom Ride to Bushnell National Cemetery for patriotic ceremony. Bring unwanted cell phones to donate to Wounded Warriors Outdoors., click ‘News and Events’ or call Peggy at 352-787-8050 or cell 352-267-3190
Camaraderie Foundation 3rd Annual Pars and Stripes Forever Golf Tournament – Mon. May 20 at the Country Club of Orlando, 1601 Country Club Dr., Orlando, 32804. Assist our military, veterans and their families through mental health support and counseling. Currently, Camaraderie has 59 people getting active counseling assistance. These are active duty personnel, veterans, spouses and their children. The organization gives scholarships to these brave families to assist them with issues such as adjusting home from the battlefield, Post Traumatic Stress and other issues. Sponsorships welcomed by May 3. 407-841-0071 Flier available.
Florida Veterans’ Hall of Fame – The Florida Veterans’ Hall of Fame Council is now accepting nominations for the first class of inductees into the newly established Florida Veterans’ Hall of Fame. The Florida Veterans’ Hall of Fame recognizes and honors those military veterans who, through their works and lives during or after military service, have made a significant contribution to the state of Florida through civic, business, public service or other pursuits. It is not a traditional military hall of fame, as it focuses on post-military contributions to the State of Florida. The Florida Veterans’ Hall of Fame will find a permanent home on the Plaza Level of Florida’s Capitol Building in Tallahassee. Nominating guidelines and submission forms are located on the Florida Veterans’ Hall of Fame website at ; Nominations for the inaugural class must be received no later than June 1..
SeaBee Memorial Dedication – Sat. June 8 at 11am, Veterans Memorial Park, 2380 Lake Baldwin Lane, Orlando, 32814. Across from the Orlando VA Medical Center. Sponsored by the Island X-4 of SeaBees, the Construction Battalions of the U.S. Navy. For info contact:
6th Annual Poker Run (motorcycle ride fundraiser) – June 15 – hosted by Caretakers M.E. to benefit Honor Flight, J.O.S.H., etc. Starts and ends at American Legion Post #183, 2706 Wells Ave., Fern Park. This is a 501(c)(3)Corp. All vehicles welcome! Info: Magi at 407-340-9780 Flier available.
33rd National Veterans Wheelchair Games. July 13-18 in Tampa. The Games, representing the largest annual wheelchair sports event in the world, are presented by the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Paralyzed Veterans of America (includes vets with MS and ALS.) More than 500 Veterans from across the United States, Puerto Rico and Great Britain are expected to compete. Events will take place at the Tampa Convention Center, Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina, Pin Chasers Bowling Lanes, Clearwater Long Center, Raymond James Stadium, Silver Dollar Shooter’s Club, Jefferson High School, Hillsborough Community College and the Tampa Bay Times Forum. The 33rd Games will include competitions in 18 different events such as swimming, basketball, table tennis, archery, and wheelchair slalom, which is a timed obstacle course. The athletes compete in all events against others with similar athletic ability, competitive experience or age.
Florida Association of Veteran Owned Businesses (FAVOB) –Strength in numbers for all veteran (including service disabled veterans) owned businesses. Provides networking and awareness of local and state contacts and contracts. Contact Brian for next date, location and info: 407-374-9072.
Home At Last fundraising - This is the fifth special project that will be built by West Orange Habitat for Humanity for permanently disabled veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan campaigns. Marine Corp. Ronald C. “CJ” Barnes, wife Katy, and new baby Max, will receive a specially designed home later this year, with your help. Severe injuries to this warrior were received on Friday the 13th in May, 2011 in Afghanistan. Kindly make checks payable to West Orange Habitat for Humanity (designate check for Home At Last 2013 Project) and mail to West Orange Habitat for Humanity, P. O. Box 38, Oakland, FL 34760 or donate online to Home at Last 2013 at or WOHH is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization and donations are tax deductible.