Sunday, April 22, 2018
News Roundup

In Hernando County, Veterans Day was a day of tributes and recognition

SPRING HILL — William "Bill" Davis could not think of any reason not to enlist in the Navy in 1943.

Not the possibility of danger. His mere 18 years of age. Or even the fact that he was not actually a U.S. citizen.

A native of Ireland in the United States on a student visa, Davis signed up and served 18 months as a hospital corpsman in the Pacific Ocean in the midst of World War II — a post that took him to New Caledonia, New Guinea, the Philippines and elsewhere.

"You can't keep an Irishman from a good fight," Davis, now 89, said with a grin.

Davis was one of 19 veterans honored Monday morning during a brief Veterans Day ceremony at the Salishan retirement community in Spring Hill, where they all reside.

The veterans, who received pins and certificates of appreciation, included 17 veterans who served during WWII, one who served in Vietnam and one who served during the Cuban missile crisis.

With many using canes or walkers and fighting to stand, each of the veterans stood to be honored for their service. They accepted the honors and posed in front of the American flag for a quick photograph.

Martha P. Morris, 89, was the lone woman.

Serving as a teletypist with the Navy from 1944 to 1945, Morris relayed coded messages from her station at a naval base in California.

"I worked around the clock sending coded messages from the ships to Washington, D.C.," she said. "It was strenuous. It had to be exact — you can't make a mistake sending those kinds of messages."

Walter L. Saccoccia, 86, enlisted in the Navy at age 17 in 1944. He served on the Yorktown aircraft carrier. He helped pick up soldiers across the Pacific to bring them home after the war ended.

"That was an experience," he said. "Every trip we made … everything was blown out. At that time, they said there were Japanese in the hills that didn't know the war was over."

Sherry Whitford, a volunteer with HPH Hospice, the organization that hosted the service, said it is crucial to honor all veterans.

"You will never be forgotten," Whitford told the gathering.

The ceremony at Salishan was one of several ways Hernando marked Veterans Day.

Joe Cuce, the owner of the Jersey Cafe at Cortez and Mariner boulevards, also felt it was important to honor veterans, and he did it with free meals.

For the first time, Cuce invited all active and retired military personnel and their spouses to come in and dine for free.

"You have to give from the heart, not the bottom line," he said.

He believes other restaurants should follow suit.

"I can't afford to do this, but I still do it because this community has given me a living for 30 years," he said.

The restaurant was hopping Monday morning with hungry veterans.

Kim's Trims on Deltona Boulevard in Spring Hill offered free haircuts for veterans on Monday.

Residents of High Point gathered for a tribute to veterans at the High Point Community Center.

The Florida National Cemetery Joint Veterans Committee hosted several hundred veterans and their families for the annual Veterans Day ceremony at Florida National Cemetery, near Bushnell.

The annual Veterans Appreciation Parade took place Saturday morning in downtown Brooksville.

Contact Danny Valentine at [email protected] or (352) 848-1432. On Twitter: @HernandoTimes.

   
Comments
4 dead in Nashville Waffle House shooting; suspect sought

4 dead in Nashville Waffle House shooting; suspect sought

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A man wearing nothing but a coat stormed a Waffle House restaurant in Tennessee before dawn Sunday and shot four people to death, according to police, who credited a customer with saving lives by wresting a weapon away from t...
Updated: 2 hours ago
District softball schedules for Tampa Bay

District softball schedules for Tampa Bay

Class 9A-8 (higher seed hosts)Tuesday: No. 3 Alonso at No. 2 Palm Harbor University, 4; No. 4 Sarasota Riverview at No. 1 Newsome, 7Thursday: Final, 4 or 7 (depending on who hosts)Class 8A-4 at Strawberry Crest Tuesday: No. 1 Wharton vs. No. 4 Wiregr...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Teen killed in crash remembered as

Teen killed in crash remembered as "always smiling and laughing"

WEEKI WACHEE — Seth Leathers was on his way to play basketball at his church when he was killed Wednesday in a car crash on U.S. 19 in Spring Hill, according to family friend Laurie Pike.Leathers, 16, was the passenger in a car driven by his friend G...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Rays thoughts are with ex-teammate Danny Farquhar

Rays thoughts are with ex-teammate Danny Farquhar

Members of the Rays organization sent their thoughts and prayers to former teammate Danny Farquhar, who was hospitalized Saturday night in Chicago in stable but critical condition after suffering a brain hemorrhage caused by a ruptured aneurysm.Farqu...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Baseball: Bulls edge Knights to even series

Baseball: Bulls edge Knights to even series

After a two-hour weather delay Saturday evening at USF, the remote local threat of lightning finally dissipated.The postseason intensity never did.For the second consecutive night, the UCF-USF baseball series delivered, this time with the Bulls (25-1...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Perspective: The Heartland to Headwaters Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition finds frustration and fear seeking a safe a path for wildlife across Interstate 4

Perspective: The Heartland to Headwaters Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition finds frustration and fear seeking a safe a path for wildlife across Interstate 4

The original Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition in 2012 was inspired by the how the Florida black bear roamed — and the space it needed to do so successfully. In 2010, expedition team member Joe Guthrie conducted research through the University of ...
Published: 04/22/18
Lightning-Devils: Grading Tampa Bay’s clinching 3-1 victory in Game 5

Lightning-Devils: Grading Tampa Bay’s clinching 3-1 victory in Game 5

TAMPA — Closers.That's what the Lightning looked like as it closed out the New Jersey Devils in five games with a 3-1 win Saturday.Nikita Kucherov's star power blazed again, the defense controlled the game and not even Jersey goaltend...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Athletics’ Sean Manaea no-hits Red Sox

Athletics’ Sean Manaea no-hits Red Sox

OAKLAND, Calif. – Sean Manaea watched as Marcus Semien fired a ball from short to second baseman Jed Lowrie, turned around, and jumped into the arms of catcher Jonathan Lucroy. History was made at the Coliseum.Manaea no-hit the Red Sox on ...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Maple Leafs force Game 6 with Bruins

Maple Leafs force Game 6 with Bruins

BOSTON — Tyler Bozak and James van Riemsdyk scored 1:19 apart in the second period, and then the Maple Leafs killed off a 5-on-3 and three more power plays in a row to beat the Bruins 4-3 in Game 5 on Saturday night and avoid playoff eliminatio...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Rays’ 10-1 Saturday win over Twins

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Rays’ 10-1 Saturday win over Twins

* Is it time to take the leap and believe this is the real Blake Snell? He talked a good game this spring and pitched well in his debut, but that rough second outing raised old doubts. But a good outing in Chicago and two dominant ones on the homesta...
Published: 04/21/18