JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Mayor Alvin Brown and the City of Jacksonville announced the Week of Valor, taking place from Wednesday through Nov. 17, to salute the service and sacrifice of our military service men and women, and Jacksonville's large and growing military veterans community.
The 2013 Week of Valor includes a wide variety of educational, patriotic, community and civic events, all focused on demonstrating Jacksonville's deep appreciation and respect for those who serve and those who have served in the United States Armed Forces.
"Jacksonville is a proud military city, which is evident by the many businesses, organizations and individuals in our community who step forward every day to support our brave men and women," said Mayor Alvin Brown. "The Week of Valor is about coming together to thank these brave men and women while building a stronger connection to our military and veterans' community."
JAX Chamber will kick off the 2013 Week of Valor with the annual Military Appreciation Luncheon on Wednesday, Nov. 6, at the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront. The luncheon brings together business leaders from throughout the city to highlight their support for the military and the men and women who defend this country.
"Jacksonville is a city with an illustrious military tradition and the Week of Valor is an opportunity to honor the brave people who have dedicated their lives to protecting ours," said JAX Chamber Chairman Greg Smith. "I am proud the JAX Chamber and our community are once again coming together to support our military and recognize those who serve."
On Friday, November 8th, the Week of Valor continues with a military appreciation luncheon for military veteran city employees in Hemming Plaza, sponsored by the Jacksonville Association of Fire Fighters and Winn-Dixie. The luncheon includes patriotic entertainment and a brief program to express thanks and appreciation to city employees who once served in the military, or who may continue to serve in the National Guard or Reserves.
"The JAFF considers it honor to be able to assist in the Military Appreciation Luncheon," said Randy Wyse, president of the Jacksonville Association of Fire Fighters (JAFF.) "There is a kindred spirit between public safety and the military. Both groups put on a uniform every day to protect the public. We think it is important to recognize the sacrifices that veterans have made in the past and the JAFF will continue to do so."
On Sunday, November 10th, W.W. Gay will host the Salute to Veterans 5K in Downtown Jacksonville. The race starts at 8 a.m. with discounted entry fees for all military, seniors 65 and older, and children 13 and under. Interested runners can register online.
On Monday, November 11th, the City of Jacksonville's signature Veterans Day Event, the annual Veterans Day Parade, will take place in Downtown Jacksonville. Prior to the start of the parade, Florida Blue will sponsor Mayor Brown's Veterans Recognition Breakfast to introduce Jacksonville's oldest veteran representative and the Grand Marshal for this year's parade. The parade will begin at EverBank Field at 11:01 a.m. and proceed west on Bay Street to the Prime Osborn Convention Center.
Tuesday and Wednesday, November 12th and 13th, several military men and women will be joined by veterans to visit local schools to talk with students about the Veterans Day and other civic-minded topics.
"It is truly an honor to open our doors to local veterans and active-duty military during the Week of Valor," said Dr. Nikolai P. Vitti, Superintendent, Duval County Public Schools. "This observance is not only an opportunity for Duval County Public Schools to thank these men and women for their service to our country, but also an opportunity to educate our students about civic responsibility and the significance of Veteran's Day."
On Thursday, November 14th, Home Depot and LISC Jacksonville will host a Veterans Housing Convention at the Wells Fargo office in Springfield to discuss and develop options to address veteran housing needs in Jacksonville.
The Jacksonville Jaguars will join Mayor Brown on Friday, Nov. 15, to make a key announcement about the Jaguars commitment of $1 million to veterans in Jacksonville and the expansion of services delivered by the city's Military Affairs, Veterans and Disabled Services Department.
Also on Friday at 5:30 p.m., film documentarian Michael Rothfeld will screen his film Vietnam: Service, Sacrifice, and Courage featuring four local Vietnam War veterans at the University of North Florida in the UNF Student Union Auditorium. A panel discussion with several of the featured veterans will follow the screening of the film.
Finally, on Sunday, November 17th, the Jacksonville Jaguars will take on the Arizona Cardinals in EverBank Field in its annual Military Appreciation Day game. Hundreds of military men and women, and their families, will be guests of honor for the game.
"The Jaguars are proud to once again support Jacksonville's Week of Valor, and to recognize and honor those who serve and protect our nation and our communities," said Jaguars President Mark Lamping. "Shad Khan's financial commitment to veterans in Jacksonville and the Jaguars hosting service members at our annual Military Appreciation game are two ways in which we can say thank you to members of our armed forces in this community, and we are pleased to do so."
For a full list of Jacksonville's Week of Valor events and information, visit COJ.net. A list of known Jacksonville Veterans Day-related events, and other events being held throughout the city can be found on the MAVDS website.
There is also a Facebook page dedicated to Jacksonville's Week of Valor.