Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Central Florida Events for Veterans

Central Florida Events for Veterans from Cathy Haynes
June 14 is Flag Day. Fly your flag proudly. Retire your torn, tattered and faded flag and replace it with one that is American made. Check the labels
Museum of Military History – Flag Day Ceremony – Fri. June 14, 6pm at the Museum, 5210 W. Irlo Bronson Hwy, Kissimmee. The Civil Air Patrol will present the colors to open the ceremony. The Osceola County Veterans Council will be providing military honors. As part of the event, the Marine Corps League will properly dispose of your worn out flags by holding a flag retirement ceremony. The event sponsor is Kisselback Ford. Info: 407-891-6916
Flag Retirement Ceremony – Sat. June 15, 12 noon, Orlando Scottish Rite Masonic Center at 1485 Grand Road, Winter Park. Ceremony retiring over 5000 flags is sponsored by Knights of St. Andrews, with active military and veterans, fraternal organizations. Special honoring of First Responders (police, fire, 911). Light lunch follows. 407-657-4550.
6th Annual Poker Run (motorcycle ride fundraiser) – Sat. June 15 – hosted by Caretakers M.E. to benefit Honor Flight, J.O.S.H., etc. Starts at American Legion Post #183, 2706 Wells Ave., Fern Park. 8:30 – 3:30. Food, vendors, music, raffle for Glock 21 45 caliber. All vehicles welcome! Info: Magi at 407-340-9780 Flier available.
Florida Association of Veteran Owned Businesses (FAVOB) –Mon. June 17, 11:30 am meeting at Fairwinds Corporate Center, 3087 N. Alafaya Trl, Orlando, 32826. 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.
Greeters needed! 3 Honor Flight hubs are taking their trips to Washington DC on Sat. June 22. Greeters are needed to welcome the WWII and Korean War 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). Terminal A, Airside 2 (gates 100-129) – in front of the Starbucks coffee. These are the last flights until August as the heat and humidity in July are too much for the veterans.
Space Coast - Returning to Orlando (MCO) at 8pm on Southwest #2195.
Central FL - Returning to Orlando (MCO) at 9:55 pm on AirTran #211
Villages - Returning to Orlando (MCO) at 10:10pm on Southwest #3573.
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!
ALWAYS check online before leaving home to verify return arrival times due to possible unscheduled changes.
Veterans Memorial Park dedication – Polk County - Sat. June 22 at 10 am, Lake Alfred, Highway 17 corner Seminole Ave in front of Southern Garden Nursing Home. The Park will be dedicated to USMC Sgt. Christian B Williams, his fallen comrades and the fallen of Polk County. Sgt. Williams, of Winter Haven, was killed in Iraq in July 2006 from a suicide attack. The park will honor all veterans – those who served and are still serving.
Commemoration of the start of Korean War – Tues. June 25, KWVA Mid-FL Chapter 173 has a ceremony beginning 12 noon, Casselberry Veterans Club, Inc. at 200 Concord Dr., Casselberry, 32707. Info: Nancy Travers (Program Coordinator) 407 252-7447 or or Robert Johnson at
AVET Project requests donations for a Navy Family Picnic – Sat. June 29, 11am – 5pm. Items needed for up to 400 persons by Tues. June 18. Food, sweets, plates, etc. Contact AVET Project at 321-373-7046
Liberty Weekend concert – Sat. June 29, 7:45 pm at Hyatt Regency Orlando Intl Airport, 9300 Airport Blvd. Unique concert of patriotic music and popular favorites by the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra. Greater Orlando Aviation Authority (GOAA) will recognize a local distinguished aviation veteran. Those attending will receive three hours of free parking. Free. 407-825-2055.
33rd National Veterans Wheelchair Games. July 13-18 in Tampa. VOLUNTEERS NEEDED! LOCAL VETS are participating! 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. Contact DAV members Ray at 407-501-0767 or Lyle at
Volunteers needed - Daytona Coke Zero 400 Race to help AVET Project at concessions. Sat. July 6, 11:30 am - ?. 30 volunteers needed, must be age 18 and older. Watching race will be allowed during breaks and if there are enough volunteers. 5:30 Pre-Race concert with Sheryl Crow. 7:30 race start for 400 miles.
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.
Events in media - Do you like seeing heartwarming coverage of veterans or military stories on TV? Have there been good articles of local veterans or military efforts in newspaper or social media that make you smile? Let the writers, producers and editors know. Thank them for the thoughtful coverage and ask for more like it!
Attention traveling wounded veterans and disabled: If you are traveling thru Orlando International Airport (OIA) for holidays and any other time, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has a special committee. Team Cares is part of TSA's customer service practice of assisting people with disabilities during the security screening process and extends it to traveling wounded veterans and their families. There are procedures for assistance from curbside to security screening gates at all airports. Call 888.262.2396 nation wide. For Orlando specific, you may call 407-284-5458 to schedule.
OIA has great info at - including Companion Care Restrooms and Service Animal Relief areas. TSA has information at their national website - ; and click on 'Wounded Warrior Accommodations' and/or 'Travelers with Disabilities and Medical Conditions.' It is best to submit the request for assistance at least 72 hrs. prior to traveling. For any issues with traveling thru Orlando Int'l Airport, my resource contact is Johana Mesa, the Team CARE Special Mission Scheduling Officer - (c) 407-284-5458. A team member can be scheduled to meet and personally escort and provide assistance thru the security screening. Depending on the airline, a non-traveling companion may be able to accompany the warrior to/from the airline gate without a ticket. Airline/TSA permission is required in advance. Service Animal Relief Areas are available on Level 2 of both the "A" and "B" Terminals. The "A" Terminal Service Animal Relief Area is located at the North East corner of the building (to the right as you exit the building) near the Southwest Airlines Bag Claim. The "B" Terminal Service Animal Relief Area is located at the South West corner of the building (to the right as you exit the building) near the US Airways Bag Claim.