Friday, June 3, 2016

June Veterans Events for Central Florida

From Cathy Haynes

June list of Central FL veteran, military and patriotic events
 
*Send me your events – people cannot attend an event if they don’t know about it!
*Please share this information and events with your friends and interested others and attend.  Post where appropriate.

 
NOTE:  A little bit of ‘housekeeping’ – I will likely be signing up for a bulk email sender like Constant Contact. It currently takes me about 5 hours just to send the emails on my list because of various problems with internet spam detectors and firewalls.  My sanity and patience are being challenged!  If you do not want to be included on such a mass-mailer device, please let me know and I will send the event list the ‘regular’ manual way.
 
USO at OIA - The USO Welcome Center at the Orlando International Airport is currently under construction and moving along!  Opening date is still TBD but anticipated to be a late July or early August completion. There will be a soft opening and an official ribbon cutting ceremony to follow in late summer.  Volunteers will need to schedule and attend a training session.  Info:  Annamae Kacsandi   annamae@ usocentralflorida .org    407-483-4855 x104. 
 
Battle of Midway Commemoration - This year marks the 74th Anniversary of the Battle of Midway. On June 4th 1942, a vastly outnumbered and outgunned U.S. Fleet defeated the finest of the Imperial Japanese Navy in the waters off a small Pacific Atoll named Midway. The combination of intelligence, tactics, courage, sacrifice and luck forever changed the course of the war and world history.  Thank a WW2 Pacific veteran!
 
Volunteers needed – Sat. June 4 - AVET Project on the east coast in Brevard County could use some help serving food to the 920th Rescue Wing Family Day Picnic.  11am-3pm, for an hour or 2.  The 920th Rescue Wing is part of the Air Reserve Component of the Air Force, based at Patrick Air Force Base.  Contact Kim Cone for more info and to volunteer.   kim@ avetproject .org  321-373-7046  www .avetproject .org 
 
D-Day Commemoration -  On June 6, 1944, more than 160,000 Allied troops landed along a 50-mile stretch of heavily-fortified French coastline, to fight Nazi Germany on the beaches of Normandy, France. Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower called the operation a crusade in which, “we will accept nothing less than full victory.” More than 5,000 Ships and 13,000 aircraft supported the D-Day invasion, and by day’s end, the Allies gained a foot-hold in Continental Europe. The cost in lives on D-Day was high. More than 9,000 Allied Soldiers were killed or wounded, but their sacrifice allowed more than 100,000 Soldiers to begin the slow, hard slog across Europe, to defeat Adolf Hitler’s troops.  Thank a WW2 European theater veteran, especially one involved in D-Day.
 
Pars & Stripes Forever Golf Tournament –Mon. June 6  - Disney's Palm and Magnolia Golf Courses are the sites for this 6th annual event sponsored by Camaraderie Foundation. The Foundation provides counseling resources for warriors (past and present) and their families – especially for those experiencing Post Traumatic Stress, TBI, alcoholism, divorce and more.  The proceeds of this tournament assist with those resources.  Sponsorships (corporate and private) are VERY welcomed.  Registration begins 6:30am, breakfast, 8am Shotgun Start.  Info online or register at www.  ; ParsandStripes2016. kintera .org  or contact Tim Shea at tshea@ camaraderiefoundation .org or  407.841.0071
 
Central Florida Navy League luncheon and meeting – Wed. June 8 – All persons who support the sea services, whether civilian or military, are welcomed to attend this gathering on the 2nd Wed. of each month.  11:30 – 1pm at the Radisson Hotel (near UCF), 1724 N. Alafaya Trail, Orlando, 32826.  Interesting speakers and networking potential includes the simulation technology businesses.  $20 with RSVP or $25 at the door.  3rd largest Navy League in FL.  Contact Bob K. (Membership Chair.) at navleaguecenfl@ juno.com   407-977-7575
 
National Virtual Military Career Fair – Wed. Jun 8 - DeVry University invites all military veterans and family members to the Virtual Career fair for transitioning veterans.  It will connect veterans to career opportunities nationally.  1pm – 4pm (flyer has 12n – 3pm Central time.)  This on-line career fair connects employers to potential employees in real time. 
Go to   app.brazenconnect  .com  /events/  devry-military-june2016  (copy and remove the spaces)

The Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall – Thurs June 9 – Sun June 12 – Coming to Longwood at Reiter Park, 301 W Warren Ave, Longwood, 32750, across from the Police Dept.  Free and open to the public 24 hours a day beginning at 9am Thurs. with an Opening Ceremony and wreath laying.  Daily ceremonies at 9am.  Closing Ceremony on Sun. June 12, at 2pm.  Local military, veterans, elected officials, special and honored guests will speak at the Opening, Daily and Closing Ceremonies.  Visitors will be able to view the “Cost of Freedom Tribute” which is a 3/5th replica of the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C. Info:  Johnnie - j.richardson50@aol.com   407-454-0070; or  Lori   lrice10398@aol.com   407-339-5466.
 
The Veterans of Foreign Wars, Department of Florida, June 9 - 12 - 86th Annual State Department Convention at Renaissance SeaWorld in Orlando.
 
Donation Presentation – Sat. Jun 11 - The American Legion Auxiliary Department of Florida will present $3,500 to The Transition House at 10am, 3800 5th Street, St. Cloud, 34769.  Members of Central Florida American Legion Auxiliary Posts collected monies to be used for bus passes for the Transition House residents. The Transition House, Inc. of St. Cloud, Florida is a non-profit agency which provides behavioral health and substance dependence services to homeless veterans through a grant from the Veterans Administration.  The Transition House strives to equip the residents with skills which will enable them to lead successful lives after they complete their rehabilitation program.  Info:  Chris  407-301-3153  chris@ thetransitionhouse .org
 
Flag Retirement ceremony – Sat. June 11 – Ceremony begins at 12 noon at the Orlando Scottish Rite Center, 1485 Grand Rd., Winter Park, 32792.  Sponsored by the Knights of St. Andrews with participation by scouts and veteran groups.  Highlights include tributes to the American Flag, POW/MIA ceremony, a 21-gun salute, live band and special presentations being made to first responders.   Gather your neighborhood retired flags, those that are torn, tattered and faded.  Bring them for proper retirement and disposal.  Or call for pickup – 407-657-4550. Past years have had over 4000 flags respectfully retired.  Alternatively, any American Legion or VFW Post will welcome flags for retirement.
Addl’ info - Masonic Membership consideration: National Sojourners, Inc., is a national fraternal organization composed of military commissioned officers, Warrant and Senior Non-Commissioned Officers (past and present) and honorary members who are Masons in advancing programs that promote love of country ...
 
Paint Night / Art Therapy – Mon, June 13 - AVET Project and Mimi's Crafts coordinate this event at American Legion Post #200, 105 Ocean Blvd, Melbourne, 32937.  6:30-8:30pm.  $30 donation will get Step by Step instructions,  includes everything you need to paint, plus we will have some food.  Open to any interested persons, especially our veterans.  Info:   kim@ avetproject .org  321-373-7046  www .avetproject .org 
 
Tues. June 14 – Flag Day – Fly your American flags at home!  This day commemorates the adoption of the flag of the United States, which happened on that day in 1777 by resolution of the Second Continental Congress.
 
Happy Birthday United States Army!  This day celebrates the 241st birthday.  Thank an Army service person (active, reserve, or guardsman) and thank an Army veteran!  The U.S. Army was founded on 14 June 1775, when the Continental Congress authorized enlistment of riflemen to serve the United Colonies for one year.
 
Museum of Military History Flag Retirement ceremony – Tues. June 14 – the Museum will conduct a respectful ceremony to include the symbolic burning of one retired flag.  11am at 5210 W. Irlo Bronson Hwy., Kissimmee, 34796.  The Museum of Military History is open 10am – 6pm Tues – Sun. (closed Mondays)  407-507-3894.  www ; museumofmilitaryhistory .com 
(Note:  Other flags for retirement that are received throughout the year are taken to a local crematorium.  One retired flag is included with each veteran who is cremated as an additional tribute to his/her service to our country.)
 
Flag Retirement Ceremony – Tues. June 14 – Ceremony at 6pm (18:00 for military folks!) to retire the American flags that are no longer suitable to fly – torn, faded and tattered.  Sponsored by Marine Corps League Detachment 1092 of St. Cloud and the Osceola County Veterans Council.  Bring your flags to this honorable event at VFW Post 4225, 504 S Randolph Ave, Kissimmee, 34741.  Info:  Wayne  wtg29usmc@ cfl.rr .com  407-460-0279  or TJ Palmer at tpalmer44@ cfl.rr. com  407.552.7124
 
Orlando Marine Corps League mtg –Tues June 14 - Cpl. Larry E. Smedley, Detachment 064 monthly meeting, 7pm – 8pm at the American Legion Department of Florida building, 1912 Lee Rd, Orlando, Florida 32810.  Info:  John Gionet  sgtmajgna@ earthlink .net    407-963-9388
(USMC Corporal Larry E. Smedley was an Orlando resident who posthumously received the United States' highest military decoration — the Medal of Honor — for his actions in December 1967 in Quảng Nam Province, Republic of Vietnam.  The actual Medal of Honor hangs in the Orange County Courthouse as a community gift from his mother.)
 
Orange County Mayors’ Veterans Advisory Council – Wed. June 15 – 1:30pm monthly meeting of numerous organizations and individuals for the benefit of Central FL veterans and active duty personnel.  Planning of events and awareness is shared.  Designated representatives allow groups to coordinate efforts and unite for the common cause.  If your Orange County /Central FL vet/military associated group isn’t attending, it should plan to get involved.  Mayor Teresa Jacobs is very supportive of a veteran-friendly community.  Contact Chairman Edwin Marrero for attendance and location information.  emarrero81@ cfl.rr.com 
 
Women Veterans' Conference -  Wed & Thurs June 15 – 16 -  The State of Florida's 3rd Annual Women Veterans' Conference, will be held at First Coast Technical College, Bldg C - 2890 Collins Ave, St. Augustine, Florida 32084.  Open to all women who have served or are currently serving in the military.  Network with others; Hear from knowledgeable speakers; Learn about local and state resources; Discover career opportunities; Information & outreach booths for benefits and assistance.  Childcare will be available.  Info:  Florida 2016 Women Veterans’ Conference.  (Thank you, Ed Burford, Seminole Co. Veterans’ Service Office!)
 
The American Legion, Department of Florida, June 16 -19 - 98th Annual Department Convention at Renaissance SeaWorld in Orlando.
 
SeaBee’s X4 meeting – Sat. June 18 – Members of the SeaBee’s  have a breakfast meeting,  9am at the Casselberry Veterans Club, 200 Concord Dr, Casselberry, 32707. Central Florida group is called Island X4 and is made of Veterans of the Naval Construction Battalion and the Civil Engineer Corps of the US Navy and interested others.   Info:  mike.gentz116 @gmail .com   407-325-8915
 
Seminole County Area Veterans Advisory Council (SCAVAC) mtg – Sat. June 18 - Meeting of numerous organizations and individuals for the benefit of Central FL veterans and active duty personnel.  Planning of events and awareness is shared.  Designated representatives allow groups to coordinate efforts and unite for the common cause.  If your Seminole County /Central FL vet/military associated group isn’t attending, it should plan to get involved. This month at 1pm at Fleet Reserve Association building, 3040 FL-46, Sanford, 32771.  Note: SCAVAC will not meet in July or August.  Info:  Magi Hosford, 407-340-9780, magicaretakers@ yahoo .com.
 
American Eagle Day – Sat. June 18 – Raising awareness about the importance of preserving and protecting our national symbol.  Get your picture taken with a bald eagle!  10am – 1pm at the Avian Reconditioning Center, 323 West Lester Road, Apopka, 32712.  Summer hours in June and July: Saturdays 10am – 1pm, closed in August. Donations of money and items are appreciated to aid in caring for injured eagles, owls, hawks, etc. Arc4raptors@ gmail .com  407-461-1056​
 
4th Annual Lake Butler Family Fun Day with Camaraderie Foundation – Sat. June 18 – Military families can bond with each other while swimming, playing games and eating – at no cost!  12noon – 4pm at Lake Butler in Windermere.  RSVP is required so that there will be enough food and to get specific location.  Provide name, phone number, # attending to Anna at 407-841-0071 or programs @ cameraderiefoundation .com   Camaraderie Foundation also assists by providing counseling assistance/resources to warriors and/or their families experiencing Post Traumatic Stress situations.  Your connection and knowledge with other military families may help save lives and marriages….
 
241st Army Birthday Ball – Sat. June 18 – The local Sunshine Chapter of AUSA (Association of the United States Army) coordinates this great celebratory event that is open to ALL interested persons- regardless of service branch or civilian.  Special guest speaker.  RSVP required; Special invitations to Wounded Warriors, Soldiers, Gold Star families and our senior war veterans from Central Florida. .  6pm – 11pm at Rosen Centre, 9840 International Drive, Orlando, 32819.  Sponsorships welcomed.  See chapter website.  Info:  Dee Jones, Army Ball Co-Chair, daila.espeut-jones@ zeltech .com 
Addl’ info - Interested in becoming an AUSA member?  Sunshine Chapter has flexible general meeting dates.  See the website or contact  john.reams@ zeltech.com  407.571.9920
 
Fantasy of Flight Museum re-opens June 18.  It has a large collection of military aircraft and artifacts.  It also has an event venue for meetings, receptions, etc.  Friday - Sunday 11am - 3pm.  Fantasy of Flight Museum, 1400 Broadway Blvd SE, Polk City, 33868 (Take exit 44 from I-4)  Ph: 863-984-3500  or check their website for more info.
 
Sunday, June 19 – Father’s Day 
 
Florida Association of Veteran Owned Businesses mtg (FAVOB) – Tues June 21– meeting at 10am, a “Chamber of Commerce” of sorts open to all veteran owned businesses, at American Legion Florida Department bldg., 1912A Lee Road, Orlando, 32810.  19 states offer contract preferences to veteran owned businesses.  Florida is NOT one of them.  Our goal is to change that in big business, our cities, and counties too.  You don't have to be a vet to support the veteran business community!  See FAVOB Facebook site.  Info:  Chairman Michael Waldrop  mwaldrop@ blue-cord .com
 
Veterans Town Hall Meeting – Fri. June 24 – The staff of the Orlando VA Hospital facility at Lake Nona will provide information updates and answer questions, a special discussion on Community Care and the Veterans Choice Program.  They would also welcome feedback on your VA experiences, including the Daytona Beach facilities.  Feedback allows improvement opportunities.  All are welcomed to attend at the Daytona Beach Outpatient Clinic (aka William V. Chappell, Jr.  Satellite Outpatient Clinic) located at 551 National Health Care Dr., Daytona Beach, 32114.  2 pm to 3:30pm.  VA Support services will also be available (Care Giver Support, MyHealthyVet, Cape Canaveral Nat’l Cemetery, possibly Florida Veterans’ Benefits, and possibly flu shot availability (yet unconfirmed.))  Info:  Public Affairs Office, Orlando VA Medical Center, 13800 Veterans Way, Orlando.  407-631-4436
 
Serve Day – Sat. June 25 – Join East Coast Christian Church of Merritt Island in Brevard County to volunteer with AVET Project by helping with yard work, house work, storage units, etc.  Info:   Contact the church at 321.452.1060,  or kim@ avetproject .org  321-373-7046  www .avetproject .org 
 
Free Dental Care for Veterans – Sat. June 25 – Aspen Dental Practices offer a day of free dental care.  Nearly 400 of their offices in 33 states schedule this day as a service day – giving back to our veterans.  To schedule an appointment call: 1-844-AspenHMM (844-277-3646), provide your zip code for the nearest office.  The services provided will be the most urgent as determined by the dentist at that time – cleaning, filling, or extractions, etc. You are NOT required to re-schedule for additional work - You would be responsible for payment for any subsequent work.  But if you haven’t had an exam or cleanings in a while, this is a great service!  Space is limited and appointments are filling up quickly!  
Greeters needed!  Honor Flight Welcome Home – Sat. June 25 – Orlando Int’l Airport –After a day spent in Washington DC, 25 veterans of WWII and Korean War veterans return home thru Orlando Int’l Airport.  This Honor Flight hub is a part of the nation-wide organization that takes veterans on a single day trip to our nation’s capital where they visit the WWII, Korea, and Vietnam War Memorials, Marine Corps Iwo Jima and the Air Force Monuments, and witness the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery.  This particular group will return just about 10pm and enter the terminal area at about 10:30pm. Come welcome these former warriors home!  “Welcome Home” receptions at the airports makes a difference!  Bring your flags, banners and signs! –Southwest Airlines # 6196 from Baltimore-Washington (BWI), Terminal A, Airside 2 (hotel area in front of Starbucks.) Before leaving home, check online to see if the flight is on time because there may be delays due to weather, mechanical or medical issues. 
Free parking has been arranged at an off airport property – FastPark and Relax – who has been very generous to Honor Flights with free parking and shuttles to the airport (tips welcomed by drivers!) - Contact Cathy Haynes for those details NLT 7pm   407-239-8468  chaynes11629 @yahoo .com
New:  Vouchers are available for airport garage parking from a GOAA rep. in the terminal for this event – maximum of 3 hours – BUT you have to take a paper ticket upon entering the airport garage.  The vouchers will not work if you use the SunPass transponders – we cannot credit the charge back.
For the Early Birds - you can wave these veterans off in the morning no later than 5am – same location.  They process thru Security early and quickly.  Wave them off for a wonderful day!
NOTE: The next Honor Flights will be August 20 and Sept. 7 – Washington is too hot and crowded during the summer!
 
Osceola County Veterans Council – Mon. June 27 – Gathering of various organizations to share information at 7pm, at American Legion Post 10, 200 Lakeshore Blvd, Kissimmee, 34741.  The next month meeting will be on Tues. July 26  at VFW Post 3227, 915 New York Ave, St Cloud, 34769 (location alternates monthly.)  If your Osceola County /Central FL vet/military associated group isn’t attending, it should plan to get involved.  Info:  TJ Palmer at tpalmer44@ cfl.rr. com  407.552.7124. 
 
Central Florida Veterans Inc. mtg – Tues June 28 – Meeting of veterans and groups in the Central Florida area.  Meeting includes a guest speaker and sharing of information that is important to veterans.  This group meets on the LAST Tuesday of every other month. (Even numbered months) in the Orlando VA Medical Center at Lake Baldwin in the Cafeteria.  5:30pm.  Info:  Greg Smith at 901-438-7734  farside53@gmail.com
 
Independence Day – July 4    Information about events is pending…..  Fly your flags at home!
 
City of Orlando Mayors’ Veterans Advisory Council – Thurs. July 7 – 1:30pm monthly meeting of numerous organizations and individuals for the benefit of local veterans and active duty personnel.  Planning of functions (ie:  Veterans Day parade) and awareness of events is shared.  Designated representatives allow groups to coordinate efforts.  If your Orlando area vet/military associated group isn’t attending, it should plan to get involved.  Networking before and after the meeting.  See website at cityoforlando.net, Office of the Mayor, Mayor’s Committees, Veterans.   Contact Chairman Michael Waldrop for attendance and location information.  mwaldrop@ blue-cord .com
 
Florida United Numismatists (F.U.N.) – Thurs – Sat. July 7-9 – The summer F.U.N. (money) show – over 200 dealer booths of coins and paper money often include military collectibles, artifacts, political ephemera (old campaign buttons) along with jewelry and watches.  Numismatic-related exhibits, educational programs, Scout Programs, and much more.  Great history items.  Kids can learn during their summer vacation!  This year is the 301st anniversary of the sinking of the 1715 Spanish Treasure Fleet off the central east coast of Florida – think about the gold and silver Spanish coins!  See  1715fleetsociety.com  and www. funtopics.com   Many of the dealers are veterans.  Admission is FREE but convention center parking is about $10.  Daily 10am – 6:30pm (5:30 on Sat.) Orange County Convention Center, 9800 International Drive, Hall WE1, West Concourse.
(NOTE:  The BIG national F.U.N. show with 1500+ dealers and 15,000+ collectors will NOT be held in Orlando for several years.  Due to contract negotiation ‘challenges’ it will be in Fort Lauderdale Jan. 2017 and Tampa in Jan. 2018.)
 
Performance to benefit USO – Sat and Sun, July 9 and 10 - Disney Cast Members and their families composing the group Encore! Cast Performing Arts will perform “Ragtime, The Musical”. This production will benefit USO Central Florida! Info/tickets at Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts website. 
 
4th Annual Bob Bret Memorial Golf Tournament - Mon. July 11. Central Florida Navy League, a large active group composed of civilians and veterans supporting all sea services.  (USN, USMC, USCG, and Merchant Marines.) This golf outing honors a long-time CFNL member, Robert "Bob" Bret - Proceeds go to support JROTC scholarships, Sea Cadets,  and the Welfare & Recreation fund for USCGC Cutter's Vigilant and Shrike, (based in Port Canaveral) crew & families.  Tuscawilla Country Club, 1500 Winter Springs Blvd, Winter Springs, 32708.  8:30 Shotgun start.  $85 pp/ $70 active duty.  Corporate sponsors welcomed.  See the Central Florida Navy League website.  Contact Brian Holmes at 407.252.3008  bholmes@ aegistg .com
 
143d ESC Change of Command ceremony – Sat. July 23 – mark your calendar for this ceremony by the Army Reserve group.  More info to come.
 
SAVE THE DATE
Navy Ball - October 15 for the Navy Birthday Ball at Rosen Shingle Creek.  Sponsorships welcomed.  www.cfnavyleague .org
 
MISCELLANEOUS INFO:
 
Veterans of Influence – Orlando Business Journal recognizes Central Florida military veterans who have made a significant achievement in their careers and our communities in the past year.  Nomination Deadline: August 12   Info:  www. bizjournals. com/orlando/  then click on Menu, then Events, then nominations.
 
Voter Registration:  The following is the only thing ‘Political’ that gets included on these lists of events.  Our freedoms allow us to vote.  And we must exercise that right.  Do your civic duty, become educated in issues that affect us locally, state, and nationally.  If you have changed your address make sure to update your voter registration.
The deadline to register to vote for an upcoming election is 29 days before the election. The registration deadlines for the 2016 election cycle are:
·        Primary Election: August 1, 2016
·        General Election: October 11, 2016
Absentee Ballots - For absent stateside and overseas uniformed service members and overseas civilians (also known as UOCAVA voters), the deadline for election officials to send ballots is 45 days before an election:
·        Primary Election: July 16, 2016
·        General Election: September 24, 2016
 
Free Flights Home For Service Members, Operation Homefront Newsletter, April 2016, Are you an active duty service member hoping to fly home soon? Operation Homefront, through support from SAIC, is pleased to fly active duty service members home for a favorite holiday! Active duty service members are invited to apply for travel dates to celebrate Independence Day or Thanksgiving. This program is open to all active duty service members and will provide ONE round-trip ticket for an eligible service member.  Limited availability.  Info and requirements:  operationhomefront.net and click on Highlights.  (Thank you, Ed Burford, Seminole Co. Veterans’ Service Office!)
 
Birds need your help – Non-releasable and orphaned raptors - this includes eagles, owls and hawks – need your help. The Center for Birds of Prey needs donations of clean towels, bed sheets, paper towels, cotton balls, swabs, etc. items required to care for babies or injured birds.  You can also call for a detailed list of items or visit fl.audubon.org to see the “Wish List”.   Audubon of Florida’s Center for Birds of Prey, 1101 Audubon Way, Maitland, 32751. 407-644-0190.  Your in-kind gifts greatly help offset the cost of operations, especially during baby bird season. 
NOTE:  Non-releasable adult bald eagles can be requested to appear at events – nice touch for a patriotic event.  Nominal charge is requested which is used to care for injured birds.  Contact the office.
 
Yellow Ribbon Project - Marine Families (a non-profit org.) offers FREE Deployment Ribbons to military families, of all branches, in support of their loved ones serving abroad.   (One per family while budgeted funds remain available)  Know someone deployed?  Share this information so that they can request a personalized ribbon.  Spread the word to your contacts; family, friends, co-workers, schools, church, etc., so that they can learn more and become involved.  Each day families wait for their loved ones to safe return.  Approximate cost of each ribbon is $5 complete with S&H.  Make a donation to sponsor a ribbon(s).  No amount is ever too small. Contact:  MarineFamilies .email @gmail .com  or  Marine Families, P.O. Box 7915, Tampa, FL  33673. 813.965.2682 
 
Local Young Marines group need help - Young Marines of the Orlando Devil Dogs unit are planning to attend the 75th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7. This would have a lifetime impact for these young men and women - ages 8 to 18 – as they commemorate this date.  Education will include the geographical and historical significance.  They will interview Pearl Harbor veterans and others from WW2 in addition to participation in the ceremonies and memorials. It is hoped to raise $58,575 or more to send 35 plus Young Marines and chaperones to Honolulu, Hawaii, from December 3 – 8, 2016. Your tax-deductible contribution will help cover the airfares, accommodations, meals and other fees.   You don’t see these youth’s pictures and stories in the media – they’re too busy doing too much good in our communities instead of becoming problems….  Info:  SgtMaj John Gionet, USMC (ret.) 407-963-9388 sgtmajgna@ earthlink .net
 
Home At Last fundraising – A seventh disability-friendly home built in the west Orange County community of Oakland.  The not-for-profit Home at Last honors a combat-wounded veteran of the military campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan. The family is the Wittwer's - Marine Staff Sergeant Brandon Wittwer (Ret), wife Kassandra and their three children, Kaydance, Karter & Kylee.  The SSgt and his wife grew up in Kissimmee and started dating after he returned from Boot Camp.  He suffered multiple spinal injuries that have ended his 12-year Marine career.  Donations to build this home are welcomed and can be sent to Home at Last Project, Inc. , PO Box 38, Oakland, FL 34760.  The dedication ceremony and flag raising should be later this year.   Bill Criswell, a founding organizer and chairman for Home At Last as well as a WW2 veteran, is very much involved just as he was with the previous six homes.  Bravo Bill!  wccriswell@ earthlink .net 
 
FYI: 
·        WoundedTimes. blogspot.com - Veterans News Service covering news that matters to veterans and their families. Local, state and national news, events, and stories – especially with videos involving Central Florida military and veterans. Dedicated to defeating Combat PTS.

·        Shades of Green Resort – Armed Forces Recreation Center (a DOD) on Disney property provides various packages for active duty, reservists, guardsmen, 100% service connected disabled, and retired military personnel and their families.  Go to www.shadesofgreen.org ; for information.  Special discounts for rooms may be available based on occupancy levels, and special ticket rates.  (407) 824-3400

·        The Navy Exchange (NEX) –NEX in Orlando is for all branches of active duty military, reservists, guardsmen, retirees, 100% service-connected disabled veterans and their dependents.  It is located west of Orlando Int’l Airport, about 1 mile south of the Beachline Expy/528 on Tradeport Dr.  Competitive pricing and programs. The big white building on the west side of Tradeport -  7151 Earhart Dr., Orlando, 32827.    www. mynavyexchange .com  407-857-3550  SPECIAL!  The next scratch off coupon event will take place at the Navy Exchange June 15-24.  The scratch off coupon allows you to save up to 3 times during this period- one discount per transaction.  Get an extra 5%, 10%, 15%, 25% or 50% Off with use of the coupon.  1 in 3 cards has 10% Off or better!  Some coupons will be available in store for customers while supplies last.  (Navy Exchange authorized patrons only)  Uniforms, tobacco and alcohol are not included with scratch-off.

·        MWR / ITT Ticket Office – Offers discounted attraction tickets to active duty military, reservists, guardsmen, retirees, 100% service-connected disabled veterans and their dependents.  It is locate adjacent to the Navy Exchange (NEX) listed above.  Phone: 407-855-0116 or 407-851-4396 for details,   email: mwrorl@ gmail .com  or Text MWROrlando to 30364 for MWR Specials.

·        Military OneSource is a free service provided by the Department of Defense (DoD) to active duty, Guard and Reserve service members, and their families with comprehensive information on every aspect of military life including deployment, relationships, economics, grief, education, parenting and child care, and much more.  www. militaryonesource .mil

·        American Warrior Radio Show  broadcast from Brevard County by AVET Project from 11am-noon EDT on Saturdays, radio station WMEL - AM 1300    Nationwide broadcast:  www. 1300wmel .com
 
INFO to keep and share - because we care
 
Veterans in crisis – For you or someone you know - Confidential Hotline:  1-800-273-8255, #1. 
Or:  Website at  veteranscrisisline   provides 24/7 confidential chat online assistance;
Or:  text 838255  for  24/7 confidential assistance.  They are there because they care….
 
Camaraderie Foundation in Central Florida provides resources for private and confidential Post Traumatic Stress (PTS) counseling for warriors and their families.   It works.  It has saved lives, marriages and families. Contact 407-841-0071
 
 
Caring and sharing,
 
Cathy Haynes
Member/supporter/volunteer of numerous veteran and military organizations in Central FL
407-239-8468
chaynes11629@ yahoo .com