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NOTE: The City is sharing this information on behalf of Councilman Pickett.

This is from Councilman Pickett's monthly newsletter, which residents can sign up for at:

July 2023

Welcome to the Veterans' View

Freedom Fest 2022

American Flag with fireworks

Each year, on the fourth of July, Americans celebrate Independence Day. Americans love to celebrate this historic event, and rightfully so. One great way to show your patriotism, pride, and love for our country is by setting off fireworks. 

The City of Port St Lucie is no different. The City will host the city’s official Fourth of July event at the MIDFLORIDA Event Center. The fun and festivities start at 4 p.m. There will be vendors with food and beverages available for purchase, live music, and of course a celebration of our nation's independence with a fireworks display beginning at 9 p.m., weather permitting. 

For an additional fee, you can purchase a ticket to the Ultimate Experience. Ticket purchase includes Blazin’ BBQ's Buffet, refreshments, dessert, and a seat on the back veranda to have an up-close view of the fireworks display, complete with patriotic music. This event is one of the City’s largest attended events, so get there early, and don’t forget to bring a lawn chair or a blanket.

The Declaration of Independence

Washington DC with fireworks

Conflict between the colonies and England was already a year old when the colonies convened a Continental Congress in Philadelphia in the summer of 1776.

In a June 7 session in the Pennsylvania State House (later Independence Hall), Richard Henry Lee of Virginia presented a resolution with the famous words: "Resolved: That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved."

Lee's words were the impetus for the drafting of a formal Declaration of Independence, although the resolution was not followed up on immediately.

A committee of five was appointed to draft the declaration, and the task itself fell on Thomas Jefferson of Virginia. Discussions of Jefferson's Declaration of Independence resulted in some minor changes, but the spirit of the document went unchanged.

The process of revision by the Continental Congress began July 1, then continued through all of July 3 and into the late afternoon of July 4, when the Declaration was officially adopted. Of the 13 colonies, nine voted in favor of the Declaration, two -- Pennsylvania and South Carolina -- voted No, Delaware was undecided, and New York abstained.

John Hancock, President of the Continental Congress, signed the Declaration of Independence. It is said that John Hancock's signed his name "with a great flourish" so England's "King George can read that without spectacles!"

Today, the original copy of the Declaration is housed in the National Archives in Washington, D.C., and the fourth of July has been designated a national holiday to commemorate the day the United States laid down its claim to be a free and independent nation.

Veterans and Mental Health Care

Mental illness has strong links to suicide among Veterans. While alcohol and drug abuse accounts for higher suicide risk, other co-occurring mental disorders are often associated with substance misuse and suicide. The more common mental disorders among Veterans are PTSD and depression. For example, exposure to trauma or suffering a TBI while in the service can lead to an increased risk of both substance misuse and PTSD or depression.

It is estimated that up to half of returning Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans have a mental health diagnosis.

Veterans coping with the dual diagnosis of substance misuse and PTSD are likely to have psychiatric and medical conditions, such as

  • Anxiety disorders.
  • Bipolar disorder.
  • HIV.
  • Liver disease.
  • Schizophrenia.
  • Seizures.

Treatment and Care

Despite these grim realities, Veterans have plenty of reason for hope. The VA has doubled its efforts to address the challenges that Veterans face. With the passage of the MISSION Act of 2018, the federal government is making aggressive efforts at extending outreach to Veterans. Among other things, the MISSION Act:

  • Includes provisions that enhance the recruitment of clinicians.
  • Authorizes access to community urgent care providers.
  • Expands telehealth services.

Learn More

COMPACT Act expands free emergency suicide care for Veterans 

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – Prevention of Veteran suicide continues to be VA’s top clinical priority. Under the Veterans Comprehensive Prevention, Access to Care, and Treatment (COMPACT) Act, Veterans with acute suicidal crises can immediately visit any VA or non-VA healthcare facility for emergency healthcare at no cost.

“No matter where or when, and regardless of enrollment status, Veterans in suicidal crisis now have access to free, emergency health care that they have rightfully earned and deserve,” said West Palm Beach VA Healthcare System Executive Director Cory Price. “The COMPACT Act will ultimately save the lives of America’s heroes.”

With the small list of eligibility requirements, the COMPACT Act could potentially affect up to 9 million former service members who currently are not enrolled.

Veterans must meet at least one of the following criteria to be eligible for this emergency care, regardless of enrollment status:

  • Veterans discharged from active duty under conditions other than dishonorable after a period of at least 24 months of active service.
  • Veterans who served more than 100 days under a combat exclusion or in support of a contingency operation, either directly or by operating an unmanned aerial vehicle from another location, who were discharged under conditions other than dishonorable.
  • Veterans who were the victim of a physical assault of a sexual nature, a battery of sexual nature, or sexual harassment while serving in the armed forces.

Under the COMPACT Act, VA will provide, pay, or reimburse for treatment of eligible Veterans’ emergency suicide care, transportation costs, and follow-up care at any VA or community health care center for up to 30 days of inpatient care and 90 days of outpatient care.

If a qualifying Veteran receives a bill for emergency suicide care after treatment, VA will expedite the review process to ensure those costs are handled appropriately.

Veterans in crisis, or concerned about one, can contact the Veterans Crisis Line by dialing 988 and pressing option No. 1. Confidential support is available 24/7, regardless of enrollment status.

For more information, contact the West Palm Beach VA Healthcare System Public Affairs Office at 561-422-8607. 

Thank you to every Veteran who reads this article. You made a commitment to this country to uphold our way of life. Thank you to the service members' families. You too have paid a heavy price holding down things at home while we were off doing what we had to do. Many times, the family members are forgotten, but they have sacrificed too by not having their loved one home. Have a great month, God bless each of you, and let us never forget that freedom is not free. 

Learn More

Upcoming Events


Tuesday, July 4

from 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.


9221 SE Event Center Place

PickleBall Summer

July 2, 5, 7, 9, 14, 16, 21, 23, 28, 30

from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.


9221 SE Event Center Place

Coffee with the Council

Tuesday, July 18 at 8:15 a.m.

Community Center

2195 SE Airoso Blvd

Healthy U: Access to Health Care

Wednesday, July 27 at 6:30 p.m.

Botanical Gardens

2140 SE Westmoreland Blvd.

4th of July Ultimate Experience

Tuesday, July 4

from 6:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.


9221 SE Event Center Place

Golden Years Senior Dance

Saturday, July 6

from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.


9221 SE Event Center Place

Christmas in July Craft Fair Saturday, July 22

from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Sunday July 23

from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.


9221 SE Event Center Place

Visit our events calendar
Thank you Military Support

Local Veterans Organizations

To learn more about resources for veterans, please visit any of the following links:

Mailing Address: 5914 N.W. Bayou Court. Port Saint Lucie, Florida 34986

Burn Pit Registry

VA established this registry in 2014 to put data to work for Veterans and help us better understand the potential health effects of exposure to airborne hazards during military service. By joining the registry, you can provide information that will help VA provide better care to all Veterans. To learn more, click the button below.

Learn More

Camp Lejeune Water Contamination

Health Issues

File a claim in any of these ways:

Operation Sacred Legacy

Indian River State College and the Office of U.S. Congressman Brian Mast announced Operation Sacred Legacy, an effort to provide as many local veteran interviews as possible for the Library of Congress Veterans History Project. 

To learn more, click the button below.

Visit our Website


Councilman Pickett

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Councilman Pickett

David Pickett, District 2 Councilman

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