With one of the nation's highest concentrations of veterans in the Tampa Bay area, an Air Force base with two combatant commands and two of the busiest VA hospitals, there is no shortage of Veterans Day events honoring those who have served.
The festivities kicked off earlier this week. Here is a day-by-day list of some of the related events you can still attend. Apologies in advance to any we missed.
Thurs., Nov. 7
* ”Bring 'Em Home! Transforming Military Might Into Civilian Talent,” a panel discussion for veterans looking to transition from military to civilian employment. Part of 83 Degrees Media's “Not Your Average Speakers” series, the event will held from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Tampa Firefighters Museum, 720 E. Zack St.,Tampa. The panel includes Air Force Col. Scott DeThomas, MacDill Air Force Base commander, and is moderated by Tampa Tribune military reporter Howard Altman. For more information, go to [email protected] or [email protected]
Fri., Nov. 8
* St. Leo University kicks off its celebration of military authors with Gary Cooper, a retired Navy commander and 1954 St. Leo alumnus who will talk about his upcoming book, “Fatal Error, The Final Flight of a WWII Seaplane Bomber.” 4 p.m., TECO Hall in the School of Business building. For more information, contact Jo-Ann Johnston at (352) 588-8237 or [email protected]
Sat., Nov. 9
* 20th annual Tampa Bay Veterans Day Parade, 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., on Hanley Road between Barry Road and Paula Drive. Grand Marshal will be Air Force Col. Scott DeThomas, commander. For more information, contact Terry Fortino, (813) 995-7611, email [email protected] or go to www.VeteransParade.org
* Celebrity flag football fundraiser to support Army veteran Greg Crumbly, a former Pittsburgh police officer and renowned sports artist. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Whitesell Softball Complex, 12555 119th St., Largo. For more information, contact Vince Noble, Florida Sports Charities (727) 776-6371.
Sun., Nov. 10
* 49th Annual Veterans Day Tribute at Veterans Memorial Park and Rear Admiral Leroy Collins Jr. Veterans Museum, 3602 U.S. Highway 310 N., Tampa. Ceremony begins at 11 a.m. with joint color guard of members of the 4th Amphibian Battalion Honor Guard and JROTC Cadets. Walt Raysick, president of the Veterans Council of Hillsborough County Inc. will be master of ceremonies. Air Force Col. Andre J. Briere, vice commander of the 6th Air Mobility Wing will be keynote speaker.
* 2nd Annual VETSports-Gulfport Beach Volleyball Benefit. VETSports vs. Gulfport Police and Fire departments. Parade starts at noon and volleyball games start at 1 p.m., 5500 Shore Blvd. S., Gulfport Beach. VETSports, a nonprofit organization for the wounded, is partnering with a scholarship fund for the son of Maj. David G. Taylor, who was killed in Baghdad Oct. 22, 2006. For more information, call (727) 893-1118.
Veterans Day, Mon., Nov. 11
* 6th Annual James A. Haley Veterans' Hospital and Clinics Veterans Day parade and classic car show. Starts 10 a.m. with a brief ceremony in front of the Fisher House with parade to follow. Maj. Gen. Aundre F. Piggee, director of Logistics for U.S. Central Command is the keynote speaker. Operation Helping Hand is sponsoring a cookout with City Corps and USF. 13000 Bruce B. Downs Blvd., Tampa.
* The Bay Pines VA Healthcare System will host its annual Veterans Day Ceremony at 11 a.m. in the courtyard behind building 37. Radio host Mason Dixon will be the master of ceremonies and guest speakers will include retired Marine Col. Robert H. Chase, Jr., deputy director, Interagency Action Group, Centcom, and Suzanne M. Klinker, director, Bay Pines VA Healthcare System.
* Home dedication for Richard Clark-Bartlett, a severely wounded veteran of the Marines and Army who is raising three children as a single father. The family will move into a home refurbished by Rebuilding Together Tampa Bay and donated by Chase. Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn is scheduled to attend the ceremony, 10 to 11 a.m. at the home, 6214 15th Ave. S., Tampa.
* Novelist and Historian Winston Groom, an Army veteran who wrote “Forrest Gump,” will speak at St. Leo University's Veterans Day observance at the Marion Bowman Activities Center, 11 a.m. At 4 p.m. he will sign books in the St. Leo University Student Community Center. For more information, contact Jo-Ann Johnston at (352) 588-8237 or [email protected]
Thurs., Nov. 14
* The University of South Florida will hold a Veterans Outreach Expo in the John & Grace Allen Building Breezeway from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., co-sponsored with the Vet Success on Campus program. The VA mobile clinic will also be onsite. For more information, contact Renée Hunt, (813) 974-5383 or [email protected], or go to www.sa.usf.edu
* Click here to see a listing of free goods and services for veterans in honor of Veterans Day.