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Weekend Veterans Events

Bobbie O'Brien
WUSF Public Media

Veterans Day activities and remembrances are not confined to one day or one location. Communities throughout Florida and the nation are planning special events to recognize the sacrifice of those who have served in the US Armed Forces and those who are currently serving.

A map of Veterans Day observances throughout the United States is provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs: Celebrate our Veterans this Veterans Day.  Participate in Veterans Day events across the country on November 11, 2013, and join VA as we #ThankAVet on social media.

November 1-17

WINTER HAVEN – LEGOLAND, an attraction designed for children ages 2 to 12, is offering military veterans free admission during the first 17 days in November in appreciation to their service in the US Armed Forces. Veterans must present their military ID at the ticket window on the day they visit. They will also receive discounted tickets of $40 each for up to six guests.  On Veterans Day, a small celebration is set for the park opening and the public is invited to help build an oversized American flag out of LEGO bricks. Veterans also will receive a 20 percent discount on some retail food.

NOVEMBER 7 - Thursday

SARASOTA – The Legacy of Valor Celebration Luncheon to benefit Paws for Patriots, a program of Southeastern Guide Dogs, Inc., was held from 11 am - 1:30 pm Thursday, Nov. 7. Organized by the Junior League of Sarasota and the Junior League of Manatee County, the luncheon is part of the yearlong Legacy of Valor Campaign, which was developed by The Patterson Foundation to honor the service and sacrifice of veterans and their families throughout Southwest Florida. Guests at the Legacy of Valor Celebration Luncheon had an opportunity to meet guide dog puppies-in-training.

TAMPA – A community conversation, “Transforming Military Might into Civilian Talent,” is free and open to the public from 5-7 pm at the Tampa Firefighters Museum, 720 E. Zack Street, Tampa, FL. Tampa Tribune reporter Howard Altman will moderate the panel guests: Air Force Col. Scott DeThomas, commander MacDill AFB and the 6th Air Mobility Wing; Brian Murphy, CEO of ReliaQuest; Kiersten Downs, USF doctoral student and former president of the USF Student Veterans Association; Ryan Moran, project manager LVI Environmental Services, Inc. If you are a veteran seeking employment, or an employer looking for a talented pool of potential workers the event is designed for you.

NOVEMBER 8 - Friday

ST. PETERSBURG – A special presentation honoring members of the first black unit in the Marine Corps is set at the Wildwood Park baseball field. But first at 11 am, the city will unveil the rehabbed home of 87-year-old veteran, William C. Scott. He was one of the original Montford Point Marines, the first black unit of the U.S. Marines Corp. Scott served in World War ll, the Korean War and Vietnam. He’s returning to his home at 2616 26th Ave. S, St. Petersburg, FL, which was saved from mounting code violations and structural damage through community donations and a state rehab program. Following the reveal directly across from Mr. Scott’s home, the public is invited to join a special tribute on behalf of the United States Marines as the Congressional Gold Medal of Freedom will be presented to Scott along with other St. Petersburg Montford Point Marines, John Tyron Ayers, 90, and Samuel L. Blossom, now deceased. Gibbs High School Honor Guard and the VFW will be on hand to present the colors. U.S.  Marine Corp Major Richard D. Marshall from Marine Corps Forces Central Command, MacDill AFB, Florida will present the awards.

NEW YORK CITY – Live streaming on the internet hosted by the GOT YOUR 6 program will offer veterans presentations starting at 9 am. To commemorate Veterans Day weekend, the Got Your 6 Storytellers in New York City on Friday, November 8, are highlighting military veterans who are now making an impact in the civilian world. These outstanding individuals will each offer a significant level of depth and clarity on topics as diverse as education, public policy, technology, international development, disaster relief, renewable energy, and business leadership. The presentations will be live-streamed and they will be recorded for continual rebroadcast on the Got Your 6 website and select media outlets. We encourage everyone to watch the speakers live or to view the presentations starting on Veterans Day to learn more about how veterans are changing the national landscape. Visit our Storytellers page for a complete list of speakers and topics. This is a powerful way to honor our veterans.

NOVEMBER 9 – Saturday

CARROLLWOOD - The Carrollwood Cultural Center, 4537 Lowell Road, Tampa, FL will host an art opening for its “Star Spangled Art” exhibit followed by a band concert for veterans on Saturday, November 9. The official opening and reception is from 1-4 pm. Star Spangled Art is a show for active duty or former members of the armed forces. Awards will be given for first, second and third place. The show is sponsored by Operational Helping Hand and the Military Officers Association of America, Tampa Chapter (MOAA). At 8 pm, the Carrollwood Winds Community Band will present a free concert honoring veterans of the U.S. Military. The music performed will have a patriotic theme. Admission passes for the concert are available at the Center’s box office. Seating is limited. For more information, visit http://www.CarrollwoodCenter.org or call (813) 269-1310.

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY - Tampa Bay Veterans Day Parade starts at 10 a.m. on Hanley Rd between Barry Rd and Paula Drive. The Parade Honoree is former SSGT Robert Scott Carr who was part of the USMC Protection Detail and provided services for former U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM) Commander in Chief General Anthony C. Zinni (USMC RET) and Commander in Chief General Tommy Franks (USA   RET). Carr now serves with the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office as a corporal. More parade information is available at http://www.veteransparade.org

NOVEMBER 10 – Sunday

CLEARWATER – A Veterans Celebration, sponsored by the Tampa Bay Veterans Alliance, is scheduled at Crest Lake Park, Gulf to Bay and S. Lake Dr, Clearwater, FL. Activities start from 3-5 pm with youth events like a dunk tank, water balloon toss and lure casting. The main event is at 5 pm with a Color Guard, speakers and Heroes’ Walk. TAPS at Sunset followed by the Movie in the Park, “They Were Expendable” with John Wayne and Donna Reed. For details: http://www.TampaBayVeteransAlliance.org

ST. PETERSBURG – A free, Veterans Entrepreneur Expo, sponsored by the volunteer business mentors at Pinellas SCORE, is planned exclusively for veterans, active-duty military and their families. The Expo: “Turn your Passion into Profits” is Sunday, Nov. 10, from 10 am to 5 pm at the Hilton Carillon Park, 950 Lake Carillon Dr, St Petersburg, FL 33716. Education tracks are scheduled throughout the day on business start-up basics, legal options, tips on franchising and a special discussion panel at 3:45 is on financing a business including the use of crowd-sourcing and SBA loans. Throughout the event, SCORE volunteers will be available for a “speed-meeting” to listen to ideas. The keynote speaker is Mark Swanson, an Army veteran, successful serial entrepreneur and Bright House executive. There is no cost. Prior registration is preferred but walk-ins will be welcomed. http:// http://pinellascounty.score.org/

TAMPA – Admission at Lowry Park Zoo, 1101 W. Sligh Avenue, Tampa, FL, is free for military personnel (active-duty and veterans) Sunday, Nov. 10, and Monday, Nov. 11 from 9:30 am to 5 pm. The military member will need to show a Department of Defense photo ID at the Zoo’s ticket windows. As many as three direct dependents of military personnel also are entitled to free admission. Dependents may take advantage of the offer without their service member, though an adult must accompany minors. http://www.lowryparkzoo.com

MSNBC – The Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) will debut “Wounded: The Battle Back Home,” a documentary film series that focuses on issues of critical importance to this generation of injured service members and their families through personal stories of struggle and resiliency. MSNBC is airing it on Sunday, November 10, 2013, at 12 p.m. EST/9 a.m. PST as a part of special Veterans Day programming on “Taking the Hill.” http://www.woundedwarriorproject.org

More listings to come including Veterans Day, Monday, Nov. 11, 2013.

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