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Memorial Day Ceremonies And Area Events

Posted May 26, 2012 by Howard Altman

Updated May 26, 2012 at 06:03 PM

Bikers Heading To Bushnell

Bikers from around the Tampa Bay area will gather for the annual Memorial Day ride to the Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell.

The ride is organized by the Tampa Bay Chapter of the Defenders Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club To Pay Tribute to the fallen.

Start Location: Interstate Rest Area on I-75, located 1 mile North of the intersection of I-75 & I-275

Please arrive no later than 9 a.m., kickstands up at 9:30 a.m.

Memorial service at Bushnell begins at 11 a.m.

For more information, contact Ron “Paladin” Rook, President, Defenders LE MC
Cell: (813) 453 – 6431

Bay Pines Memorial Day Ceremony

The Bay Pines VA will commemorate Memorial Day with a ceremony on Monday, May 28 at 10:00 a.m. at the Bay Pines National Cemetery.  This is the only National Cemetery in Pinellas and Hillsborough counties and the largest observance of Memorial Day with over 3,000 expected attendees. 

Veterans, families and friends, and the general public are invited to attend.

To mark the occasion, all 31,733 graves will be marked with U.S. flags to honor those who gave their lives while serving in the military.

The event will be hosted by Fox 13 News reporter, Alcides Sequi, and include musical performances, a firing salute, and taps performance.

A special performance and flag ceremony will be conducted by the Clearwater High School Marine Corps Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) Silent Drill Team.

Guest speakers for the event include Congressman C.W. Bill Young; new Bay Pines VA Medical Center Director Suzanne M. Klinker; and Florida National Cemetery Assistant Director Maurice Roan.
Parking for the event is available nearby. Shuttles will provide transportation for guests from parking lots to the National Cemetery. The venue is handicapped accessible.  A sign language interpreter will be available for the hearing impaired.

The event will take place outdoors. Please dress appropriately for inclement weather. For further information, please contact the cemetery office at 727-398-9426.

Calvary Baptist Church Ceremony

Calvary Baptist Church in Lakeland is holding a remembrance for the fallen.

Here’s a letter of invitation:

My name is Ronnie Payne. I’ve been a staff member at Calvary Baptist Church in Lakeland, Florida for almost 24 years. I am also a former Marine. My son, whose name is Ron Payne, Jr., was a career Marine who was killed in action on May 7, 2004 in Tawara, Afghanistan.

Since our son’s death, my wife, Aileen and I wanted to find a way to heal our broken hearts. We found it in reaching out to other families who had lost their sons and daughters in the war on terror.

Aileen and I truly believe that they were more than just a name and causality number. They were the best that America had to offer and stood for the values that we all hold dear. They were willing to defend it to their last breath. Since our son’s death, we have held seven consecutive Memorial Day Weekend Services and have honored 38 of these heroes and ministered to their families.

This year on May 27, 2012, it will be our eighth service. The theme for this year is “Freedom’s Heroes.” We will be honoring Marine Cpl. Barton R. Humlhanz, K.I.A. August 26, 2004 and Army Spec. Ryan M. Lumley, K.I.A. December 3, 2011.

In addition, we will be honoring Lakeland Police Officer Arnulfo Crispin, killed in the line of duty on December 21, 2011.

Our guest speaker for this year’s event will be Air Force Col (Ret.) Tom Oldenburg. Performing the final roll call will be First Sgt. (Ret.) Charles Rubado whose son, Lt. Charlie Rubado was killed in Iraq.
Calvary Baptist Church
1945 N. Florida Avenue Lakeland, FL 33805
(863) 683-6781

MacDill Celebrates Memorial Day

The 6th Air Mobility Wing will host a Memorial Day Ceremony at the Base Flag Pole May 28 at 8 a.m.

Sequence of events include posting of the Colors, reading of a poem, laying of a wreath, remarks by 6th Air Mobility Wing Commander Col. Lenny Richoux, 21-gun salute, playing of taps and singing of America the Beautiful.

New Toyota For Wounded Marine

Lance Cp. Justin Gaertner, who lost both legs and has diminished use of his left arm after being wounded in Afghanistan on Nov. 26, 2010, will be receiving a Toyota Tundra from Sun Toyota in New Port Richey, modified to allow him to use hand controls.

There will be a ceremonial presentation (the $60,000 truck isn’t ready yet) at about 10 .m. Monday at Sun Toyota, 3001 U.S. 19.

Gaertner will be escorted to Sun Toyota by the Patriot Guard Riders, according to Greg Amira, a retired Army captain who runs, an organization co-sponsoring the event with Sun Toyota.

Gaertner is preparing to medically retire from the Marines, according to his mom, Jill Dallabeta, but the process has been delayed because he is getting a security clearance for his new job in Tampa at the National Counterterrorism Agency, said his mom.

Gaertner will be going to college in Jacksonville for a year. Then Homes For Troops will build him a home in Tampa, after which he will transfer to USF, said Dallabeta.

Amira said the Army and Marines will have demonstrations at Sun Toyota, inclucing, a WWII 5-ton truck, bounce houses, and a pull-up contest from Marines. Galati Guns is raffling off a military-edition Berretta and a Desert Micro Eagle .380.

Funds go to help purchase the truck, Amira said.

Summer Camp For Children of Disabled Service Members

Children of disabled military service men and women still have time to sign up for Camp Corral, a free weeklong, nationwide outdoor summer camp. The camp, sponsored by the Golden Corral restaurant chain, is for children 8 to 15 and promises a traditional camp experience with recreational water and target sports, horseback riding, crafts and campfire stories. The camps are offered in July or August in the following states: N.C., Va., Ga., Fla., Ohio, Kan., Tex. or Colo.  Register online at today.

Web Site Offers discounts for service members

GovX is a privileged e-commerce Web site where qualified members of the U.S. Armed Forces and those in related government agencies can shop for premium off-duty apparel, equipment and other products as well as on–duty tactical products. Prospective Members simply submit their registration to qualify as a Member and once approved, you can begin shopping, saving and interacting on the site.

We wrap our superb customer service around a largely direct-from-manufacture purchasing system using a sophisticated, inter-connected, e-commerce platform connecting us with our shippers, manufacturers and our entire customer support team and manufacturer support team, all to deliver you prompt and select products with exclusive pricing.

University of Phoenix and AMVEST Offer Scholarships

University of Phoenix and AMVETS, a vocal advocate for veterans’ education, are awarding $350,000 via 50 $7,000 scholarships to active duty service members, veterans and eligible family members to pursue a degree from University of Phoenix. AMVETS has partnered with University of Phoenix since 2007, offering more than 225 scholarships to eligible veterans and family members.

Applications for the 2012 University of Phoenix AMVETS Scholarship are being accepted May 22, 2012, through August 21, 2012, and scholarship recipients will be notified by Veterans Day, Nov. 11, 2012.

For more information on how to apply for the 2012 University of Phoenix AMVETS Scholarships, please visit

American Airlines Offers For Military

In partnership with the USO (United Service Organizations), American Airlines invites its employees and customers to recognize Memorial Day, May 28; Flag Day, June 14; and Independence Day, July 4, by keeping three patriotic themes in mind. During this period, customers and employees alike are encouraged to “honor” those who died serving our country, “salute” the United States flag and those who sacrificed to protect it, and “celebrate” the freedoms we are fortunate to enjoy today. 

In recognition of these upcoming summer patriotic holidays and in tribute to all who serve, American Airlines is offering customers a special AAdvantage® mileage promotion benefitting U.S. service members. Customers can show their support by:

• Donating via the mileage promotion: Through Independence Day, American Airlines AAdvantage members will earn 15 AAdvantage bonus miles, instead of 10, for each dollar donated through American’s Miles In Support of All Who Serve program. A minimum $25 donation is required, and will help the USO to lift the spirits of troops and their families through a variety of morale-boosting services and programs.

• Purchasing an American Airlines co-branded gift card: By selecting the USO gift card option, American will donate $5 to the USO for every $50 of travel purchased. The gift card can be delivered to the recipient via e-mail with a personal message included, if desired.

To donate and learn more, visit

Bill Currie Ford Offering Dinner Cards To Active Duty, Vets and families
Beginning May 24th for a full week through May 31st, Bill Currie Ford will be givin
g out free $50 Dinner Cards to active Military, Veterans, and their families just for stopping by to say hello.

Active duty services members or veterans and their families can have lunch or dinner compliments of Bill Currie Ford at one of 120 participating restaurants located in the Tampa area.
“We love supporting the Military community here at Bill Currie Ford.” says Ken Kaplan, Bill Currie’s General Manager, “and to show that we care we’re excited to help provide lunch or dinner to a service person or a veteran and their families at a quality area restaurant.”

So with no obligation to purchase, if you are active or retired military or a family member, please stop by during ‘Memorial’ week May 24th and May 31st, and visit with the nice people at Bill Currie Ford at 5815 North Dale Mabry Highway. 

And if you are not military affiliated, stop on in anyway and Bill Currie Ford will give a $50 dinner card to a military family in your name.



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