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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: www.cityofpsl.com/newsletter

June 2023

Welcome to the Veterans' View

Army's Birthday

The Army's birthday, also known as the U.S. Army's founding day, is celebrated on June 14 each year. The United States Army was established on June 14, 1775, making it the oldest branch of the United States military. This date commemorates the formation of the Continental Army, which the Second Continental Congress authorized during the American Revolutionary War. It is a significant day for honoring the brave men and women who have served and continue to in the United States Army.

 

Today, the Army is the largest branch of the U.S. military, and the proud men and women of the U.S. Army continue to provide peace and security for all of us.

Flag Day

June 14 also marks Flag Day and is celebrated in the United States. It commemorates the adoption of the American flag on June 14, 1777, by the Second Continental Congress. On that day, the continual Congress resolved that the flag would consist of thirteen alternating red and white stripes representing the original colonies and a blue field containing thirteen white stars, symbolizing a new constellation.


Flag Day is a day to honor and show respect for the national flag of the United States. It is an opportunity for citizens to reflect on the flag's significance as a symbol of American ideals and values. Today, many people display the flag at their homes, businesses, and public buildings. Various ceremonies, parades, and events take place across the country to celebrate and educate about the history and meaning of the American flag. 

Women’s Veterans Day  

Women have served in America’s wars and conflicts and performed many jobs, playing vital roles in the Revolution, serving as soldiers, raising morale, and spying on the enemy. More than 400 women fought in the Union and Confederate armies during the Civil War. During World War I, about 35,000 women officially served as nurses and support staff, such as the Hello Girls, formally known as the Signal Corps Females Telephone Operators Unit.


In World War II, 140,000 women served in the Women’s Army Corps (WAC), performing critical jobs such as military intelligence, cryptography, and parachute rigging. Currently, almost two million women Veterans are in the United States.


Women's Veterans Day is observed on June 12 in the United States, a date chosen to mark the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act anniversary. The date is not recognized nationally but is recognized by several states, either through legislation or a proclamation.

The Gulf Iraq Afghanistan

Veterans Association Inc.

The Gulf Iraq Afghanistan Veterans Association Inc. is an organization of former defenders of freedom. We welcome all military service members into our ranks to become part of our elite group. Our common bonds are:

  • the battlefield,
  • our love for our Country,
  • protecting our freedoms,
  • and our commitment to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States.



​If interested in becoming a member, go to www.giava.org and click the “become a member” link.


Additionally, The Gulf, Iraq, Afghanistan Veterans Association, Inc. is raising funds to build a monument called The Sacrifices of War Monument. The monument is proposed to be located at Veterans Memorial Park or the new Stars and Stripes Park. This monument will honor those who have served in combat and passed away after returning home while carrying the physical or mental wounds, directly or indirectly, sustained from service for our Country. 


This monument will allow a place for family and friends to support each other during such a trying time. The Sacrifices of War Monument will help fill the gap between those service men and women who would not otherwise be recognized for their ultimate sacrifice. 


Donations in any amount are appreciated and donors in the categories below will be acknowledged in publications and at the memorial unveiling:

 

Stars & Stripes $10,000+

Platinum $5,000

Gold $2,500

Silver $1,000

Bronze $500


Learn more

'A new chapter in our lives,' military vet says of free new home

By Will Greenlee Treasure Coast Newspapers

Pulte Homes

PORT ST. LUCIE − U.S. Air Force veteran Francis “Frankie” Reilly choked up Monday, remarking about the groups and individuals that came together to provide him and his family a mortgage-free home in the Heron Preserve community.


“This groundbreaking signifies more than just the building of a new home, it signifies a fresh start, a new chapter in our lives that I never anticipated,” Reilly said.

Reilly, 48, a more than two-decade veteran, was selected by homebuilder PulteGroup as part of the company’s Built to Honor program to receive the home on Southwest Sand Dollar Way.


Reilly, who arrived at the morning groundbreaking ceremony to applause, sustained a severe leg injury in 2004 after returning from a mission in Afghanistan.

Small American flags surrounded the lot, and a large American flag was suspended between palm trees.


“Today is about Frankie Reilly,” said Brent Baker, PulteGroup Southeast Florida Division President. “It's an honor for us to be able to build this home for Frankie and his family.”


PulteGroup worked with Building Homes for Heroes, which has been involved in building, renovating or modifying more than 320 homes across the country for veterans over the last 17 years, according to Rusty Smallwood, of Building Homes for Heroes.


“The significance of this gift transcends the material value of it,” Reilly said. “To say this home is a gift is an understatement. It's a symbol and a hope of testament to the boundless goodness and compassion that exists within the human spirit.”


Mayor Shannon Martin said the city is “a hometown for heroes,” saying they are loved, honored, and respected.


Reilly said he’s lived in several states, and thought Florida was the best in the country, particularly for veterans.


“I thank God once again, I thank the citizens of Port St. Lucie, citizens of Florida, and most of all, the citizens of the United States of America,” Reilly said.

The home's base price is more than $515,000, though Reilly's has special modifications to accommodate for his injuries that increase the cost.

Military service

Reilly said he joined the Air Force in 1994, shortly after his 19th birthday. One of five children, Reilly said he grew up in Jersey City, New Jersey, and made some bad decisions as a youth. He finally got involved in sports and liked the team environment.

He said as he was graduating high school, he didn’t have many options. His father was a Vietnam vet and in the Air Force, and Reilly followed in his father’s footsteps.


“It was kind of like joining a family,” Reilly said. “The military was ... like having another family.”


He said in the 1990s there were several terrorist attacks. He said he went to Kuwait in 1996 to train, and at the time was a forward air controller. His role would be to accompany soldiers on the ground and coordinate and authorize air support if needed.


He noted the attack on the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia in June 1996 in which 19 U.S. service members died, and the October 2000 attack on the USS Cole, a naval destroyer, in Yemen in which 17 sailors died.


“You had multiple attacks, basically, the enemy trying to get our attention,” Reilly said. “And we pretty much didn't pay any attention to them at all … We didn't really address it. And then 9/11 happened.”


He said he was stationed in Iceland when his wife, Heather, had their third child as 9/11 happened.


He'd switched jobs in 1999 to become a special warfare airman, an elite special operations role with the primary goal being to pick up downed pilots and others, he said.


“We did a bunch of other stuff, civilian rescue missions, rescuing the Army, Marines,” he said.


He said in the service he operated in countries including Turkey, Afghanistan, Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Ethiopia, and Mexico.



He had 11 deployments for periods of four months, some of which were training. 

West Palm Beach VA offers new transportation program for medical care to local Veterans

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – The West Palm Beach VA Healthcare System (WPBVAHCS) is proud to announce a new transportation partner – VHA Uber Health Connect.

 

VHA Uber Health Connect bridges the transportation gap by providing supplemental transportation to eligible Veterans needing access to and from medical care.

 

“This is a life-altering program that offers our most vulnerable Beneficiary Travel Veterans care — the moment they need it,” said WPBVAHCS Executive Director Cory Price. “It also advances our ability to offer more accessible, equitable health care to our entire Veteran community.”

 

This initiative will provide a seamless experience: Uber’s HIPAA-compliant ride-sourcing platform allows clinics and VA Medical Centers to book rides directly for patients from a centralized dashboard, while ensuring the security of patient information. Patients can track the ride via text message or phone call.


For more information, contact the WPBVAHCS Public Affairs Office at 561-422-8607.



Veterans Golf Clinic

When: June 6th, 9:00 AM until Noon

 

Where: The Champions Club at Summerfield 3400 SE Summerfield Way, Stuart, FL 34997


Why: To provide veterans an escape from everyday worries; teach and improve golf fundamentals in a fun and friendly controlled environment. In addition, provide veterans an opportunity to learn and fellowship through shared experiences!

 

How: PGA Golf Professional Joe Grohman provides our veterans, professional hands-on instruction, with fun, comedy, great stories and storytelling throughout golf clinic!



Special Note: This Veterans golf clinic is limited to 10-person! The first 10 people/veterans that contact me will go on the official list. I’ll keep names in order of receipt, so every veteran that contacts me will go on the list. In the event, one of the first ten cancel, the next name on the list will replace the cancelled person/veteran!

 

Point Contact is LTC (Retired) Bobbie Williams at (540) 429-2057

 

Email: [email protected]

Upcoming Events

Hurricane Expo

Saturday, June 3

from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.


MIDFLORIDA EVENT CENTER

9221 SE Event Center Place

Memory Screening

Tuesday, June 6

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


Community Center

2195 SE Airoso Blvd

Healthy U: Substance Use Disorder-Alcohol

Wednesday, June 7 at 6:30 p.m.


Community Center

2195 SE Airoso Blvd

Food Pop-Up

Saturday, June 10

from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.


Whispering Pines Park

800 SW Darwin Blvd

Special Populations Dance

Wednesday, June 14

from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m.


Community Center

2195 SE Airoso Blvd

Coffee with the Council

Tuesday, June 20 at 8:15


Community Center

2195 SE Airoso Blvd

Community Job Fair

Wednesday, June 28

from 3:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.


Community Center

2195 SE Airoso Blvd

Freedomfest

Tuesday, July 4

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


MIDFLORIDA EVENT CENTER

9221 SE Event Center Place



Visit our events calendar
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

THANK YOU FOR READING!

Councilman Pickett

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Sincerely,

Councilman Pickett

David Pickett, District 2 Councilman

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