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American Homefront

Veterans Day Events Around Tampa Bay

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Bobbie O'Brien
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WUSF Public Media

Throughout Florida and the nation, events and special showings are scheduled to recognize the sacrifice of those who served in the U.S. Armed Forces and those who are currently serving. Keep checking back for updates.

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 Nov. 11, and join VA as we #ThankAVet on social media.

Sunday, Nov. 10

CLEARWATER – A Veterans Celebration and Movie in the Park, sponsored by the Tampa Bay Veterans Alliance, is scheduled at Crest Lake Park, Gulf to Bay and S. Lake Dr, Clearwater, Florida. Activities start from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. with youth events like a dunk tank, water balloon toss and lure casting. The main event is at 5 p.m. 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 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Hilton Carillon Park, 950 Lake Carillon Dr, St Petersburg, Florida 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 p.m. 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, Florida, is free for military personnel (active-duty and veterans) Sunday, Nov. 10, and Monday, Nov. 11 from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. 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

On TV – 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, Nov. 10 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

Monday, Nov. 11 – Veterans Day

ALL FLORIDA STATE PARKS - To celebrate Veterans Day on Nov. 11, entry into all state parks (with the exception of the Skyway Fishing Pier State Park) is free to veterans and the general public  as a tribute to Veterans Day. Here's the list of state parks: http://www.floridastateparks.org/thingstodo/deals.cfm

BAY PINES – The Bay Pines VA Healthcare System will host its annual Veterans Day Ceremony starting at 11:00 a.m. in the outdoor courtyard located behind building 37.  The event is open to all veterans, their family and friends, and the general public. Highlights to include musical performances by the Keswick Christian School Choir; a special parade of colors, guest speakers U.S. Marine Col. (retired) Robert H. Chase, Jr., Deputy Director, Interagency Action Group, United States Central Command, and Suzanne M. Klinker, director of the Bay Pines VA Healthcare System. Reserved and general parking will be available nearby.  A shuttle service will also be available to provide transportation for guest from parking lots to the ceremony area. For directions http://www.baypines.va.gov/locations/directions.asp

OLDSMAR – An annual Veterans Day Ceremony including the Roll Call of newly engraved veterans names is scheduled at 11 a.m. at the Oldsmar Veterans Memorial Park, 250 Shore Drive East, Oldsmar, FL. Sponsored by the City of Oldsmar the ceremony also will honor retired, former and active duty military. http://www.myoldsmar.com

ST. AUGUSTINE BEACH. - The 2013 Veteran's Day Memorial at St. Augustine Beach runs from 3-5 pm at Lakeside Park Veterans' Memorial, 2200 A1A South; St. Augustine Beach, Florida 32080, behind the Beach Police Station. The observance to honor our veterans is open to the public will be lead by city officials and include an honor guard, bagpipers, veteran groups and special guest speakers.

SAINT LEO – The public is invited to join Saint Leo University, 33701 State Road 52 in Saint Leo, four miles east of Interstate 75 (Exit 285), on Veterans Day for two different programs at the university campus. An 11 a.m. ceremony in the Marion Bowman Activities Center will feature Winston Groom, author of Forrest Gump on “My Journey from the American South to Vietnam and Back.” A ceremony at 6 p.m. in the “bowl,” the lawn area overlooking Lake Jovita: U.S. Marine Corps Lt. General Robert Neller, commander of Marine Forces at Central Command at MacDill Air Force Base. His topic is “How Education Has Made the Marine Corps a Stronger Military Force During.” Fireworks to follow. http://www.saintleo.edu/news-events/celebrating-40-years-of-serving-those-who-serve.aspx

ST. PETERSBURG – Eckerd College is hosting a ceremony honoring Veterans Day which will include the presentation of donations for veterans at the Bay Pines VA Health System planned at 4 p.m. at the Lewis House at Eckerd College, 4200 54th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, Florida. The Academy of Senior Professionals at Eckerd College (ASPEC) is sponsoring the event after learning about returning veterans and their needs at the VA. A collection drive for gift cards and "honor covers" was held. The donations will be accepted by Nathan Witt, a hospice unit representative and chief of volunteer services at Bay Pines VA Healthcare System.

SARASOTA - A keynote address delivered by Tuskegee Airman George Hardy Lt. Col. United States Air Force (retired), will be followed by a program and showing of the documentary “Veterans of Color,” which features Sarasota Vice Mayor Willie Shaw, a military veterans. The event is free and open to the public on Veterans Day, Monday, Nov. 11 at 1 p.m. at the Robert L. Taylor Community Complex (RLTCC), 1834 34th Street, Sarasota, Florida.

SARASOTA – Starting Veterans Day at 2 p.m. and running through Nov. 15, several exhibits highlighting the veterans experience are being hosted at the Robert L. Taylor Community Complex (RLTCC), 1834 34th Street, Sarasota, Florida. The exhibits: Red Tail Squadron, a traveling immersion exhibit featuring the original film “Rise Above”; “Veterans of Color,” a view into a seldom told aspect of American military history. The filmmaker will attend Nov. 11. “Take our Stand” tells the stories of nearly 2 million men and women who served from the Spanish-American War’s outbreak in 1898 until the military’s integration in 1948; Wall of Gratitude: the public can post a sentiment on the Thankasoldier Walls of Gratitude. For details on activities at RLTCC, call 941-954-4182.

SARASOTA - The Traveling Vietnam Wall Memorial will be on display at the Sarasota Senior Friendship Centers campus, 1888 Brother Geenan Way, Sarasota, Florida. For more information about Veterans Tribute Week, contact the Senior Friendship Centers:  941-955-2122. 

TAMPA – A Veterans Day Parade featuring 65 units and one of the six inaugural inductees into the Florida Veterans Hall of Fame, retired Capt. Robert J. Silah, U.S. Navy (Retired). It's being sponsored by the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital and Clinics, 13000 Bruce B Downs Blvd, Tampa, FL, for a sixth year. The Veterans Day parade and classic car show start at 10 a.m. on the hospital campus. The public is invited to join the Veterans, their family and VA staff. The celebration starts with a brief ceremony in front of the Fisher House followed by the parade. The key note speaker will be Maj. Gen. Aundre F. Piggee, director of logistics, U.S. Central Command. After the parade, Operation Helping Hand is sponsoring a cookout with hamburgers, hotdogs, potato salad and chips (donated by Citi Corps) and USF is sponsoring the desserts. http://www.tampa.va.gov/

TAMPA – On Veterans Day, Rebuilding Together Tampa Bay will hand over the keys to a safe, permanent home to local hero Richard Clark-Bartlett, an 18 year veteran who served multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, and his three young daughters. During the hour-long ceremony that starts at 10 a.m. at the South Tampa home, Congresswoman Kathy Castor and Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn will address attendees and participate in presentations to the Clark-Bartlett family. Those wishing to provide financial support may donate by visiting www.rttb.org. For more information, please contact Allison Gorrell at allison@planamgmt.com

ON TV - HBO Documentary Films presents "Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1," which spotlights the traumas endured by America’s veterans as seen through the work of the hotline’s trained responders, who provide immediate intervention and support in hopes of saving the lives of service members. The film debuts Monday, Nov. 11 at 9:00 p.m. ET. A trailer is available here: http://crisishotline.bltoutreach.com/ Other HBO air dates: Nov. 11  at 3:30 a.m.; Nov. 14  at 12:30 p.m.; Nov. 17  at 6:00 a.m. and 3:15 p.m.; Nov. 19  at 10:45 a.m. and Nov. 23  at 12:15 p.m. HBO2 air dates: Nov. 13  at 8:00 p.m.; Nov. 18 at 9:30 a.m.;  Nov. 26  at 2:10 p.m.

Tuesday, Nov. 12

LAKELAND LINDER AIRPORT – Honor Flight of West Central Florida will host its final Washington D.C. trip of 2013. HFWCF provides all-expense paid flights for World War II veterans around Tampa Bay to visit their memorials in Washington. Veterans will arrive at 4 a.m. and fly out at 6 a.m.  Their welcome home is at 8 p.m. This is Honor Flight Mission 15, taking a special group to tour the monuments. Veterans of the Battle of The Bulge is one of 51 chapters across the nation. This one is based in Lakeland. http://www.honorflightwcf.org/

TALLAHASSEE – The inaugural class of the Florida Veterans Hall of Fame will be inducted at a ceremony at 8:30 a.m. in the Florida Cabinet Room, State Capitol Building, Tallahassee, Florida. Gov. Rick Scott will recognize the military veterans for their significant contributions to the state of Florida through civic, business, public service or other pursuits. The inductees include John R. D. Cleland, Major General (Retired), U.S. Army, of Melbourne; The late Rep. Sam M. Gibbons, former U.S. Army Major, of Tampa; John L. Haynes, Major (Retired), U.S. Marine Corps, of Monticello; Robert F. Milligan, Lieutenant General (Retired), U.S. Marine Corps, of Tallahassee; Jeanne E. G. Rubin, Captain (Retired), U.S. Navy of Sunrise; Robert J. Silah, Captain (Retired), U.S. Navy, of Tampa. Visit the Florida Veterans Hall of Fame website at http://www.floridaveteranshalloffame.org/ for additional information.

NEW YORK CITY -- Veterans on Wall Street (VOWS), a consortium of major banks including Citi, Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs, holds its third annual Veteran Employment Symposium and Resource Fair on Tuesday, Nov. 12 at Goldman Sachs’ headquarters in New York City. Featured participants are General Peter Pace, U.S. Marine Corps (Retired), 16th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Bob Woodruff, ABC News correspondent and co-founder of the  Bob Woodruff Foundation. Lieutenant General Robert L. Caslen Jr., U.S. Army, superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Dr. Tommy Sowers, assistant secretary for Public and Intergovernmental Affairs, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Clear Channel's John Sykes, president of entertainment enterprises website showyourstripes.org. Brigadier General George H. Walls Jr., U.S. Marine Corps (Retired), member of the board of directors for PNC Financial Services Group.

Wednesday, Nov. 13

USF TAMPA CAMPUS – For veterans only, Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) is sponsoring an Employment Readiness Workshop in MSC Ballroom C. Contact the USF Office of Veterans Services for details. A free iPad door prize is being offered by PwC.

Thursday, Nov 14

USF TAMPA CAMPUS - A Veterans Outreach Expo is set Nov. 14, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the John & Grace Allen Building Breezeway, co-sponsored with the Vet Success on Campus program and Office of Veterans Services. Open to student veterans, active duty members and veterans’ dependents to explore VA benefit options and learn about job resources and  health services. Contact the USF Office of Veterans Services for details.

Friday, Nov. 15

SARASOTA - Patriots Bus Tour:  Visit Sarasota National Cemetery for a glimpse of the new Patriot Plaza.  Renew your understanding of the true meaning of paying respect and remembering the sacrifice of those who have served.  Then trek to Rothenbach Park’s hill to Sarasota RC Squadron’s Headquarters to enjoy a War Bird Airshow.  Box lunch provided.  Tickets are $10. The bust departs from the RLTCC parking lot.  To learn more about the Legacy of Valor visit www.FreedomPassItOn.org

Saturday, Nov. 16

TAMPA AMVIC - The SS American Victory Mariners Memorial and Museum Ship will set sail from the Port of Tampa for a four-hour Salute to Veterans Cruise around Tampa Bay. Cruise aboard one of only four operational World War II merchant ships in the nation to Big Band era-style music with BeDazzled. Refreshments will be available for purchase. Admission is $99  for adults; $69 military/veterans; $49 children (4-12); Group discounts available. Proceeds benefit the preservation and operation of the ship.  Tickets are available at www.ticketweb.com or by calling 1-866-468-7630. For more information, call 813-228-8766 or visit www.americanvictory.org.The SS American Victory Mariners Memorial and Museum Ship is recognized in the National Register of Historic Places and located at the Port of Tampa behind the Florida Aquarium.

TAMPA – Raymond James Stadium, 4201 N Dale Mabry Hwy, Tampa, FL, is the site of the Veterans and Military Appreciation Football Game featuring the University of South Florida vs. Memphis. The Office of Veterans Services has partnered with USF’s Athletic Department to sponsor this event which will honor all veterans and highlight USF Tillman Military Scholars and the USF Student Veterans Association.

Nov. 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 military. 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.

Here’s a list of restaurants and attractions offering discounts to veterans, active-duty military and their families.