Iraq Memorial Groundbreaking, CENTCOM Guest Speaker & More At Memorial Day Celebration

Staff Report

The Veterans Council of Hillsborough County, Inc. will conduct their annual Memorial Day Celebration at the Veterans Memorial Park & Rear Admiral LeRoy Collins, Jr. Museum at 11 a.m. on Sunday, May 26. The park is located at 3602 US Highway 301, in Tampa just south of the Florida State Fairgrounds.

Colors will be presented by the US Central Command Color Guard from MacDill AFB. Mr. Charles Haugabrooks will be performing for his 16th consecutive year a series of patriotic songs emblematic of a somber Memorial Day tribute. The keynote speaker will be LTC Cynthia Cook, USAR from US CENTCOM, MacDill AFB, Tampa.  Mr. Frank Strom, Managing Director, Hillsborough County Veterans Affairs Division and Walt Raysick President of the Veterans Council of Hillsborough County will make appropriate remarks.

The Scottish American Military Society will conduct the POW/MIA Missing Man Remembrance Celebration which will be followed by a wreath presentation by the area Gold Star Wives, Mothers and Families to honor our Fallen Warriors and pay tribute to the Hillsborough County Fallen Heroes of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. The Riverview Detachment of the Marine Corps League will fire a rifle salute and play taps.

The public is invited and encouraged to attend. Immediately following this ceremony, there will be a brief groundbreaking ceremony at the future site of the Iraq Veterans Memorial.

Refreshments will be provided by VFW Post 8108 Men’s and Ladies Auxiliaries, Riverview. For further information please contact Walt Raysick at 653-4924 or wraysick@verizon.net.

The council is in the process of raising funds to build an Iraq Veteran’s Memorial at Veteran’s Memorial Park  to honor 196 Florida fallen warriors and veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn. Their goal is to raise $50,000 with a dedication to be held on Saturday, December 14. If you are interested in donating, you can do so at www.veteransparkhc.com/iraq or by mailing it to PO Box 6754, Brandon, FL 33508.