Friday, June 2, 2017

Central Florida Summer Veterans Events

Summer Veterans Events for Central Florida
From Cathy Haynes

Coast Guard Cutter Eagle visit to Port Canaveral: May 31- June 3.  This is a tall ship – one with real masts and sails.  The Coast Guard Cutter EAGLE, provides USCG Academy cadets and officer candidates with their first taste of sea and salt air. Built in Germany in 1936 and recommissioned by the United States at the close of World War II, the EAGLE is the largest tall ship flying the Stars and Stripes.  This will be a unique opportunity!  Free tours:  Today from 10 am- 4pm and Sat. from 10am – 7pm. Leaving Port Canaveral on Sunday, June 4.  

VA Town Hall mtg – Sat. June 3 – Share your thoughts and concerns with VA staff at 11am.  Tables with information about benefits available.  Hosted by RAFMAN club (Retired Air Force, Marines, Army and Navy) at Dr. Smith Neighborhood Center from 10am – 2pm, with a Vietnam veteran pinning ceremony at 1pm.  1723 Bruton Blvd., Orlando, 32805.  Info:  407-492-1266 or 407-646-5500 x27246.  

1st Marine Division Association’s Central Florida Chapter mtg – Sat. June 3 - Fiddlers Green Irish Pub, 544 W. Fairbanks Ave, Winter Park.  The meeting begins at 10:30 and will feature a program on the Camaraderie Foundation by Terri Wallace.  The meeting will be followed by lunch and good old Marine Esprit d’Corps. Info: Mike Galyean, 321. 276.7515   koolade@ embarqmail .com  

PVA Central FL & Team RWB Summer Blast – Sat. June 3 – Join Paralyzed Veterans Association (PVA) and Team Red, White and Blue (RWB) for a fun, free family event. 11am - 3pm at 2711 S. Design Ct, Sanford, 32773.  Food trucks, hotdogs, hamburgers, bounce house, and more!  Info:  Sharona  407 -963-9659  

Greeters needed!  Honor Flights - Come Welcome them Home! – Orlando Int’l Airport –After a day spent in Washington DC, veterans of WWII, Korean War and Vietnam veterans return home thru Orlando Int’l Airport.  The nation-wide organization has three local hubs that take 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.  Come welcome these former warriors home!  “Welcome Home” receptions at the airports make a difference!  Bring your flags, banners and signs! – This months’ dates are: 
  • Sat. June 3   SW#5205 from BWI   24 vets at 8:40pm
  • Sat. June 24  SW#2305 from BWI  25 vets at 8:20pm
  • Sat. Aug 19 – Info pending. 
The groups enter the Hotel end of the Airport terminal area and we greet them in front of the Starbucks - Terminal A, Airside 2 – oftentimes led from the Tram by a bagpiper.  Before leaving home to attend the homecoming, it is suggested that you 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 (7870 N Frontage Rd, Orlando, 32812) who has been very generous to Honor Flights with free parking and shuttles to/from the airport (Tips welcomed by drivers!) Just tell the attendant upon entering that site that you are there for the veterans/Honor Flight – they try to park us together. 
New:  Parking Vouchers (excluding June 3) WILL be 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/EPass transponders – we cannot credit the charge back.  Seek the GOAA rep. (or ‘Miss Liberty’) early before the veterans arrive.  (This will NOT include Sat. June 3)
For the AM Early Birds - you can wave these veterans off in the morning no later than 5am.   They process thru Security early and quickly In Terminal A, Airside 2.  Information for more Flights will be forthcoming.  Contact Cathy Haynes for those details  407-239-8468  chaynes11629 @yahoo .com    

Battle of Midway Commemoration - This year marks the 75th 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!  

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.  

Veteran Employment Services Offices Virtual Employment Information Town Hall – Tues. June 6 - The Veteran Employment Services Offices will host an Employment Information Virtual Town Hall at 7pm - 8:30 pm.  This free virtual presentation explains and introduces you to the Pathways Programs (Internships, Recent Graduates and Presidential Management Fellows (PMF); the Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment Program, and the Federal Hiring Process to include the Vets 2 Feds Career Development Program. The information presented covers what each program offers to the job seeker, the basic eligibility requirements and employment potential after each program is complete.  Register at www. vaforvets.va. gov  

Coast Guard Auxiliary meeting – Wed. June 7 – The Osceola Flotilla 17-10 meets on the 1st Wed. of each month, 7pm, at American Legion Post 10, 205 Lakeview Dr., Kissimmee, 34741. Auxiliary members are volunteers who support the Coast Guard in all its non-military, and non-law-enforcement missions. Members help to provide maritime safety, security and stewardship; to secure the homeland, save lives and property; and to protect the environment. There are several Flotillas (groups) in Central Florida and membership in the Auxiliary is open to persons 17 years of age and older – some are much older! Info: Jim Nickles at jimnickles2@ gmail .com  407-390-9611 Recent CG Aux persons were able to assist local sheriff department and State Fish and Wildlife Dept. personnel with boat safety checks on the Lake Butler Chain of Lakes.  

US Senator’s office offers Constituent Services – Thurs. June 8 - If you are having an issue with Social Security, Medicare, Veterans Affairs benefits, immigration, the IRS or any federal agency, a member of Senator Rubio’s staff will be available to meet with you. 10am – 1pm at The Museum of Military History, 5210 W. Irlo Bronson Hwy (192), Kissimmee, 34746.  Please plan to attend to meet your local staff and find out the services Senator Rubio’s Office offers his constituents.  Central Florida/Orlando office:  407- 254-2573 or toll free in Florida 1-866- 630-7106.  

Women Veterans’ Conference – Fri and Sat June 9, 10 – Sponsored by the Florida Dept. of Veteran’ Affairs to provide information  Free and open to all women who have served or are currently serving in the military.  Orlando VA Medical Center at Lake Nona, 4th Flr Auditorium 4F301-A, 13800 Veterans Way, Orlando, 32827. Learn about local and state resources, career opportunities, information & outreach booths for benefits and assistance, rotation of knowledgeable guest speakers, some different each day.  8am – 4:30, Lunch provided both days, raffles and door prizes. Free Parking.  See:  floridavets .org  Info:  Darlene – 727-319-7418 scullyd@ fdva.state. fl.us   or Sherrel - 319- 727-7405    

Oviedo Veterans’ Tribute Golf Tournament – Fri. June 9 – This fund raiser is also a memorial tribute to its original planner, Mark Stockwell, who died unexpectedly only a few months ago.   The “Fountain of Service” in Oviedo’s Veterans Memorial has the military branches presented on polished granite blocks. Water flows from each into a common trough, moving slowly and seems to disappear into the lake. This represents the idea of honorable separation and sacrifice. Sponsorships are very welcomed.  10:30 registration with 12noon shotgun start at Twin Rivers Golf Club, 2100 Ekana Drive, Oviedo, 32765.  Deadline of signing up is June 1 for discounts for veterans - $25, or $80 for others. Info: Art Weaver 407- 765-0255   aweaver56@ gmail .com  

Flag Retirement ceremony – Sat. June 10 – 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.  Past years have had over 4000 flags respectfully retired.  Alternatively, any American Legion or VFW Post will welcome flags for retirement.  Info:  Keith Albright 407.657.4550
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 ...  

Orlando United Day – A Day of Love and Kindness – Mon. June 12 – On this anniversary of the “Pulse” nightclub tragedy, persons are encouraged to continue showing a response of love, compassion and unity. There are a number of ways for you to show the power of love, acceptance and inclusiveness to persons of all facets of life.  There were 2 victims who had served in our military and one victim who planned to become a firefighter.  Share kindness with our military, veterans and First Responders.

The Disabled American Veterans (DAV), - Wed-Sun June 14-18 - Department of Florida Annual State Convention at the Lake Mary Marriott.   The DAV will help draw attention to the numerous suicides a day by Veterans by bringing the Spartan Swordto its convention.  Forged from steel that was  recovered from the World Trade Center and the aftermath of the 9/11 tragedy, the Spartan Pledge is a commitment among veterans to not take their own lives but rather stand for their fellow soldiers in times of despair. All veterans and first responders are invited to the opening session where the Spartan Sword will be displayed and all invited to take the Pledge around 9:00 am on Fri. June 16 at the Lake Mary Marriott located at 1501 International Parkway, Lake Mary, 32746.
It's just two lines, meant to give vets a pause before they hurt themselves: "I will not take my own life by my own hand until I talk to my battle buddy first. My mission is to find a mission to help my warfighter family." Info:  Andy Marshall, FLDAV Director of Services - Andy@ davfla .com  (727) 580 0682  

Cent. FL AAAA (Quad-A) Golf fundraiser – Fri. June 16 – Falcon’s Fire Golf Club is the site for this scholarship fundraiser by the Army Aviation Assoc. of America (AAAA). $90/pp at 3200 Seralago Blvd, Kissimmee, 34746.  Sponsorships are needed and Cole Engineering Services, Inc has already stepped up to be a Platinum Sponsor!  More are needed.  Info:  Jerry at jgout@ ao l.com 407 -342-4662  

Post 9/11 Family Fun Day – Sat. June 17 - Camaraderie Foundation and Wounded Warrior Program host this fun at Lake Butler!  Come out and bond with other Military families while enjoying swimming, corn hole and fun activities for the kids. 12noon – 4pm.  BBQ lunch and drinks will be provided.  12318 Summerport Lane  Windermere, 34786.  Please bring your own chairs, blankets, sun screen and bug spray.  Space is limited and we need your RSVP for proper planning.  Anna -  programs@ camaraderiefoundation .org    407- 841-0071  

242nd Army Birthday Ball – Sat. June 19 – 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. This years’ theme is “Over There! A Celebration of the WWI Soldier”.  6pm – 11pm at Rosen Centre, 9840 International Drive, Orlando, 32819.  Discount for early ticket purchase.  Sponsorships very welcomed.  See chapter website.  Info:  Dee  at 407- 924-0810  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  

Unique event: Free offshore fishing for wounded warriors – Tues. June 20 - Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam is inviting wounded veterans to a free offshore fishing trip. The boat will be launching from Carrabelle ( in the FL Panhandle near Tallahassee). All eligible veterans can register now by going to OperationOutdoorFreedom .com  Limited space.  This ongoing program provides wounded veterans with the outdoor activities that they enjoy at no cost. Designated state and agricultural lands throughout Florida grant these veterans unique opportunities for recreation and rehabilitation.  Requirements:  30% or more service connected disability, or Purple Heart recipient.  

Home At Last dedication – Sat. June 24 – A special disability-friendly, mortgage-free home – the seventh one - will be dedicated for the Windfield family in Oakland.  Marine Corps Sgt. Seann Windfield was badly injured from a mortar attack in Iraq in 2004.  The house keys will be handed over in a ceremony at Oakland Avenue Charter School cafeteria at 10am, 456 E. Oakland Ave.  HAL is a special program that builds homes for combat-wounded permanently disabled veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan war.  Info:  Dan at danster36@ centurylink .net or Gary at 321- 356-0401  cpu65@ hotmail .com  

Liberty Weekend Celebration – Sat. June 24 – Free concert in the atrium of the Hyatt Airport hotel at Orlando Int’l Airport featuring the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra.  Theme:  “From Sea to Shining Sea.”  7:45 pm with free airport garage parking IF you take a paper ticket- do not use electronic transponder (SunPass/EPass).  Prior to the concert, the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority (GOAA) will honor a local veteran with the Col. Joe Kittinger award in recognition for outstanding service and contributions to aviation.  Info:  Carolyn at 407.825.2055   
Then stay and welcome senior veterans home from an Honor Flight!  

Greeters needed!  Honor Flights - Orlando Int’l Airport – Sat. June 24 – See information in June 3 posting.   SW#2305 from BWI  25 vets at 8:20pm  

“How to do Business with Orange County Public Schools” – Thurs. June 29 - Info training workshop to expand your business in procurement.  Find out about the district’s minority/woman-owned and small business and veteran owned business programs.  Walk thru the new Vendor Registration process.  9am to 11am at OCPS Facilities Services, Building 101F, 6501 Magic Way, Orlando, 32809.  Info: nestaly.morales@ ocps .net  407- 317-3700 Ext. 2025021   or   aaron.smith2@ ocps .net  407- 317-3700 Ext. 2025566  

Home At Last dedication – Sat. July 1 – A special disability-friendly, mortgage-free home – the eighth one - will be dedicated for Army Capt. Elmer Rivera and his family in Oakland.  He was badly injured from a mortar attack in Iraq in 2004.  The house keys will be handed over in a ceremony at Oakland Avenue Charter School cafeteria at 10am, 456 E. Oakland Ave.  HAL is a special program that builds homes for combat-wounded permanently disabled veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan war.  Info:  Dan at danster36@ centurylink .net or Gary at 321- 356-0401  cpu65@ hotmail .com  

Independence Day – July 4    Information about events is pending…..  Fly your flags at home!  

Florida United Numismatists (F.U.N.) – Thurs – Sat. July 6-8 – 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, the Heritage Auction, and much more.  Great history items.  Kids can learn during their summer vacation!  Admission is FREE but there is convention center parking fee.  Orange County Convention Center, 9800 International Drive, Hall WA4, West Concourse.
(NOTE:  The BIG national F.U.N. show with 1500+ dealers and 15,000+ collectors will NOT be held in Orlando in Jan. 2018.  Due to contract ‘challenges’ it will be in Tampa.)  

Clash on the Green – Army vs. Navy Golf Tournament – Fri. July 14 - Central Florida Navy League, a large active group composed of civilians and veterans supporting all sea services.  (USN, USMC, USCG, and Merchant Marines.) and the Sunshine Chapter of Association of Unites States Army (AUSA).  Lots of fun and good smack! Timacuan Golf & Country Club, 550 Timacuan Boulevard, Lake Mary, 32746.  8am Shotgun start.  $85 pp/ $340/team.  Corporate sponsors welcomed.  Register and Info:  www. armynavygolf.org      

National Association of Blind Veterans (NABV) Convention – Mon. - Sat. July 10-15 - Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel, Orlando.   Sight impairment may be caused by injury or disease but it doesn’t stop us!  Veterans Celebration on Tues. July 13 at 9am with ALL veterans welcomed on stage.  Info:  www. nabv .org   or  president@ nabv .org   

MISCELLANEOUS:  

Help preserve Orlando Naval History! Keep important keepsakes, rudders (graduation yearbooks), guides, memorabilia and other items of general interest of Orlando Navy History from going to the landfill. 600,000+ lives were changed at the Orlando “Boot Camp.”  Each year hundreds of pieces of history are lost forever because they are thrown away. Contact Brian Warner at brian.warner@fla-intl.com if you have items to donate.   

Operation Homefront offers mortgage-free homes are available to a veteran or military family through OH’s Homes on the Homefront program. Deadline of June 3 to apply.  For more information on each home, visit www. homesonthehomefront .org.  Info:  Charlotte at 561 -846-0843   Charlotte.Merriam@ OperationHomefront .org  

It’s Hurricane Season and we are overdue…. Whether you are on the Special Needs Registry or not, your county may offer helpful services, such as access to a special needs shelter or transportation from your home to a shelter. Ask your county's Emergency Management Division representative for details. Are there seniors - especially veterans - in your neighborhood?  Please assist them with preparedness for any disaster – natural or man-made.   Info:   www. floridadisaster.org  

Tennis is an excellent way to stay physically fit and mentally sharp. Disabled Veterans and wounded, ill and injured service members are invited to participate in a 8-week program designed to help Veterans and Service Men and Women reconnect with everyday activities. All veterans are welcome at no cost – as in FREE! Please bring valid military ID, VA ID or DD 214 on the first day of program. Mondays thru July 31, 6pm – 7pm.   10000 USTA Blvd., Orlando, 32827.  Info:  844- 872-8667  

YOUR HELP IS NEEDED – There is a project to collect photographs of all the persons whose names are engraved on the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington DC.  There are currently 24 heroes from Central Florida area (265 in all of Florida) who have no photographs.  Help us locate one/some so that picture can accompany a name in the future Wall of Faces in the Vietnam Wall museum.  They are: *  Eugene Brown of Apopka;   *  Gerald K. Brown of Maitland;  *  Cary Craddock of Orlando;   *  Joe A. Crutcher of Winter Park;   *  William J. Deuerling of New Smyrna Beach;   *  Michael G. Dinkins of Titusville;   *  Randolph Eubanks of Cocoa;   *  Tennis C. Ferrell of Orlando;  *  Charlie Fields of Winter Garden;   *  Robert L. Harter of Palm Bay;  *   Sam Holmes Jr. of Sanford;   *  Elijah Ingram of Cocoa;   *  Eugene H. McKay III of Orlando;   *  Charles Miller of Daytona;   *  Daniel R. Partin of Christmas;   *  Nathan E. Peacock Jr of Winter Garden;   *  Paul M. Roberts of Melbourne Beach;   *  Robert E. Thornton of Brevard;   *  Malcolm R. True Jr of Cocoa;   *  David Welch of Oakland;   *  Maurice T. Williams of Ocala;   *  Robert C. Williams of Orlando;   *  Joseph Woodard of Winter Park; and  *  Roger L. Young of Cocoa.
Help us locate their families and friends!  

Veterans in crisis – For you or someone you know.  Suicide is a medical emergency.  If you are experiencing thoughts of suicide, know that you are not alone and care should be sought immediately by calling 911.  Free, confidential resources are instantly available through the Military Crisis Line to aid you if you are in crisis. 
Call 800-273-8255 and press 1,  
OR chat online now for 24/7 access to trained counselors who understand what service members and military families are coping with.  Website at  veteranscrisisline 
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 Post 9/11 veterans/warriors and their families.  They also have connections in other areas, other states.  It works.  It HAS saved lives, saved marriages and saved families.  camaraderiefoundation .org   Contact 407-841-0071        


Caring and sharing,  

Cathy Haynes
Member/supporter of numerous veteran and military organizations in Central FL
407-239-8468
chaynes11629@ yahoo .com