Veterans Day Ceremonies Begin in the Tampa Bay Area

Floyd Kruszka (left) and Darrell Egner, both veterans of Operation Dragoon, salute the American Flag at a ceremony commemorating the 65th Anniversary of Operation Dragoon, at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., Aug. 5, 2009. Photo courtesy of

Friday is the official – 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month which marks the end of hostilities – the Armistice from World War I.  Yet many events are planned throughout the week to mark what has become Veterans Day.


MacDill AFB – It’s not open to the public, however, the 6th Air Mobility Wing at Tampa’s MacDill Air Force Base and the joint commands located on base will observe Veterans Day at an 8 a.m. ceremony that includes a flyover by a KC-135 Tanker.

USF TAMPA CAMPUS: An early Veterans Day celebration is set Tuesday at Tampa’s University of South Florida Campus featuring the Special Operations Parachute Demonstration Team and Keynote Speaker, General Lloyd “Fig” Newton, USAF (Ret). It’s scheduled from 10:30 a.m. to noon at the Martin Luther King Jr. Plaza.


HALEY VA HOSPITAL – A parade, antique car show and cookout have become a tradition at Tampa’s VA Medical Center. It’s open to the public and is truly a center where Veterans are a huge part of the ceremony and celebration. The parade begins at 10 a.m. including high school bands, the U.S. Central Command Color Guard, AMVETS Riders and  more.

BAY PINES VA: A ceremony honoring the men and women who served features the Keswick Christian High School band, a firing salute, taps performance, and military vehicle display is scheduled at 10 a.m. on the Bay Pines Campus. It’s open to the public, veterans and their families.

A reminder to all Veterans – if you’d like to share your definition on what it means to be a Veteran – email me at with your comment before Nov. 10th.

Tillman Military Scholar Applications Open Today

Pat Tillman.

Veterans, active duty service members from all branches and their family members at 12 universities are eligible to become a Tillman Military Scholar .

The University of South Florida, recently partnered with the Pat Tillman Foundation, is one of the 12. The other university partners are: Columbia University, San Diego State University, University of Michigan – Flint,  the University of Wyoming, Cleveland State University, Mississippi State University, Texas A&M University, University of Arizona, University of Arkansas, University of Maryland and University of Oregon.

Tillman Scholar applicants must write a compelling and genuine essay addressing three questions: their unmet financial need, their motivation for joining the military and their goals and future plans. Other criterion includes demonstrated community service and personal achievement.

Hurry. The application process to become a Tillman Military Scholar opens today. And, according to the Tillman Foundation website, only a limited number of applications will be accepted. So, don’t delay, apply as soon as possible.

Learn more about eligibility and criteria by visiting the Pat Tillman Scholars Frequently Asked Questions page.

The university partners were selected in part for their support services and proven culture of community for military families including outreach to its veteran student population as well as strengthening their academic and personal experience.

The scholarship program fills the financial gaps not covered by the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill. Tillman Military Scholarships covers tuition and fees and also other needs including housing and child care. To date, 111 Tillman Military Scholars representing 28 states and attending 46 academic institutions nationwide have been awarded over $1.3 million.

USF’s Office of Veterans’ Services works with the Veterans Administration to assist veterans, active duty servicepersons and members of the Selected Reserve, as well as eligible dependents, enrolled at USF, with their financial and academic needs.  It can be accessed by visiting

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