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  • Writer's pictureAl Carter

Point Brittany Veterans Day Event

​​ The Veterans Day event held for Point Brittany V:eterans was the first official event for this retirement community. They are an association but have not received their full certification so they are operating under the Lakewood Ranch Association of Veteran and Military Supporters charter. There are roughly between 60-70 Veterans living within this community from WWII era thru Vietnam era Veterans.

We presented eight medals during the ceremony:

2 Korean War Vets; 1 WWII Vet; and 5 Vietnam Vets. Their names are: Airmen 1st Class Michael Bonavia, Captain John Davison, Seaman 3rd Class Fonseca, Staff Sgt Robert Francis, Dr. John Lanigan, Seaman 1st Class Schwartz, 1LT John Stoeffler, and Airman Bill Thompson.

I presented 14 coins to Veterans that were from conflicts after the Vietnam War after the formal ceremony. Also gave a coin to Ms. Rebecca Westfall and her husband for their work on putting together this event and for their support to the Point Brittany Veterans.

Sequence of events are below:

1. Wait for everyone to arrive & be seated. “Thank you everyone for coming to today’s event. We are grateful to have all of you here today to help celebrate the Veterans of Point Brittany. Can we have everyone silence their phones and stand for the posting of the colors & the National Anthem which will be sung today by Mr. Terri Orr.”

2. Color Guard march in prior to song. with military flags & stand at position of attention. Terri Orr will sing Nat’l Anthem. CG positions flags, goes to seats.

3. “Please take your seats. Thank Mr. Orr for singing one of the most patriotic songs in history.”

4. “And now I would like to introduce Rev. Margaret Rountree. She is the associate minister at St. Petersburg 1st United Methodist Church and studied at both the University of Florida and Emory University. She will be providing today’s invocation.”

5. Afterwards—"Thank you Rev. Margaret for being with us here today.”

6. “Our guest speaker today is here to talk about SERVICE and HONOR. Alfred (“Al”) Carter is Chief of Staff of the FL Dept of Veterans’ Affairs. He’s a Retired Army Colonel currently appointed as Agency CoS following his retirement of 28 years of military service. He served in U.S. Army command and leadership positions as a Military Police Officer with assignments in over 40 countries including combat tours in Qatar, Afghanistan and Iraq and received over 30 individual, joint and unit medals during his Army career. AL is married to LT. COL. (Retired) Marlené Carter who is sitting up front and they have two children. Thank you for being here today.”

7. Mr. Carter will begin subtext about the Veteran’s Medal and its significance. He will cue me to call members names to come to the front to be awarded.

8. “Now we would like to recognize the individuals who have served, etc. Will the following individuals please report to the stage? Airmen 1st Class Michael Bonavia, Captain John Davison, Seaman 3rd Class Fonseca, Staff SGT Robert Francis, Dr. John Lanigan, Seaman 1st Class Schwartz, 1LT John Stoneffler, and Airman Bill Thompson.”

9. Afterwards presentation, everyone claps.

10. “Gentleman, please remain standing as we want to recognize our other Point Brittany Veterans for their military

service. Please stand as I call your name: Read from list.

11. After Vets stand: “Let’s give a hand to ALL THOSE STANDING who’ve made sacrifices to our country.” (Applause).

12. Please be seated as we watch A SHORT VIDEO RECOGNIZING THE VETERANS WHO HAVE STOOD HERE TODAY. (Dave turns off lights and plays video while music plays).

13. Lights on.

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