Veterans Appreciation Day to be Celebrated in Big Way!
by Renee Burrell
Photo courtesy of US Marine Corps
CLEARWATER - The public is invited to pay tribute to veterans this Sunday in what is expected to be a very spectacular 4 hour long patriotic event. Clearwater Veterans Appreciation Day Inc. (CVAD) will present the United States Special Ops Command Parachute Team plus the United States Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon for this year's free Appreciation Day festivities, November 4, 2-6 p.m. on the grounds of Clearwater High School, 540 S Hercules Avenue, Clearwater.
Stationed in Washington D.C., the United States Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon is a 24-man rifle platoon that will perform a unique precision drill exhibition.
The United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) Parachute Team is composed of volunteers from the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and U.S. government civilians assigned to USSOCOM. They are noted for jumping from an altitude of 12,500 feet above ground level, freefalling for 2 miles while reaching speeds in excess of 120 miles per hour and performing intricate maneuvers and precision canopy control techniques before deploying their parachutes. Jumps by the team may include carrying a flag or passing a baton while descending in freefall, all while wearing burning smoke canisters attached to their boots to allow viewers to see them better.
Joining Clearwater Mayor Frank Hibbard and the Clearwater City Council will be keynote speaker Marine Corps Brigadier General David Garza, Deputy Commander Marine Forces, Central Command. Florida State Attorney General Bill McCollum and Rear Admiral Leroy Collins, (Executive Director of Veterans Affairs for Florida), are also expected to participate.
Now in its third year, the event will pay tribute and recognize all veterans, past and present, along with thanking active duty personnel and reserves for defending our country.
Bob Swick President of CVAD said this year's Clearwater Veterans Appreciation Day celebration will be historic. "Over 5,000 people from throughout Tampa Bay and many points beyond are expected to participate in this annual tribute to Veterans." In addition to the first ever appearance of the Marine Corps' Silent Drill Team to this part of Florida and the Special Operations Command Parachute Team, there will be three bands, military and first responder displays ranging from helicopter to rescue boats and all types of military vehicles."
Return to Current Edition