Staff Report

The Veterans Council of Hillsborough County, Inc. with the support of the Board of County Commissioners will conduct its annual Memorial Day Celebration at the Veterans Memorial Park & Rear Admiral LeRoy Collins, Jr. Museum at 11 a.m. on Sunday, May 25.

The theme for the celebration is “Memorial Day Remembrance, For God and Country.” County Commissioner Kevin Beckner will make brief remarks. The keynote speaker will be Colonel Scott DeThomas, USAF, Commander, 6th Air Mobility Wing, MacDill AFB in Tampa. According to Walt Raysick, who is the Immediate Past President of the Veterans Council, “This will be Colonel DeThomas’s last event at Veterans Memorial Park as he will retire from the U.S. Air force this summer. Thank you Colonel for all you have done for veterans and the Brandon community during your assignment at MacDill AFB and service to this grateful nation.” 

Charles Haugabrooks will be performing for his 17th consecutive year a series of patriotic songs emblematic of a somber Memorial Day tribute.  Colors will be presented by the 6th Air Mobility Wing Color Guard from MacDill AFB, the invocation will be delivered by Dr. Linda J. Pugsley, LtCol, CAP, Chaplain, FL 089, MacDill AFB and the benediction will be delivered by D. Jobe, Veterans Council Asst. Chaplain. 

Mr. Frank Strom, Managing Director of Hillsborough County Veterans Affairs Division and Mike O’Dell, President of the Veterans Council of Hillsborough County will make appropriate remarks. The Scottish American Military Society will conduct the POW/MIA Missing Man Ceremony followed by a wreath presentation by the area Gold Star Wives, Mothers and Families to honor 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 and visit the recently dedicated war memorials and museum. Refreshments will be provided by VFW Post 8108 Men’s and Ladies Auxiliaries of Riverview. The park is located at 3602 US Hwy. 301 in Tampa just south of the Florida State Fairgrounds. For more information, contact Walt Raysick at 653-4924 or

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