Bradford County veterans push back after Starke officials vote to move park dedicated to U.S. service members

BRADFORD COUNTY, Fla. – Some Bradford County veterans are speaking out about plans to relocate a park dedicated to U.S. service members.

This comes after the Starke City Commission voted to move the Charles Schafer Veterans Park close to the Edwards Road Ballpark.

The park currently sits downtown.

The item was not on Tuesday night’s commission agenda but multiple veterans spoke about the park relocating during public comment and they even got a response from one of the commissioners.

Dozens of Bradford County veterans filled Starke City Hall to share their thoughts on the moving of Charles Schafer Veterans Park.

In April – the city’s commission voted to have the park relocated to showcase more veterans.

News4JAX spoke to veteran Raymond Hunt who said he wants the park to remain downtown.

“There not honoring the veterans. We sacrificed our lives and served our lives, the ones that passed away. We served our country. We think we should be recognized and our desire is to maintain that memorial and keep it steady,” Hunt said.

The Charles Schaefer Veterans Park currently sits next to the new overpass but the city commission plans to move the park along another road to be right across from the National Guard.

After public comment, Commissioner Andy Redding spoke about the issue.

He said the park only remembers WWI, WWII, Korean and Vietnam veterans.

“There is nothing honoring female veterans, there is nothing honoring veterans of color,” Redding said. “So from my standpoint with relocating and this has been coined a move and its been kind of been giving the aspect of something taken away. This is something that has the opportunity to be something grand, to be bigger, to be better, to be safer.”

Redding said the city has committed to spending at least $100,000 on the park.