Monday, April 23, 2018
Military News

Howard Altman: SS American Victory will host cruise to mark Pearl Harbor Day

Looking for a unique way to commemorate Pearl Harbor Day and celebrate the military’s nautical traditions?

Check out the SS American Victory, which will set sail Dec. 2. for a two-hour cruise at 1:30 p.m.

Registration will begin at noon to ride the cargo vessel, one of only four still sailing to serve in World War II, Korea and Vietnam. Historic ceremonies will take place at 1 p.m, and the ship will get underway at 1:30 p.m.

The cruise will take guests down the channel while featuring historic ceremonies, gun and drill demonstrations, a dress-up photo booth, raffles, prizes, food, beverages and a cash bar. Music and entertainment will be provided by the rockabilly swing band, The Cadillac Bombers with special guests the Rat Pack Too as well as a DJ.

Tickets at $89 for adults, $69 for veterans, and $49 for youths 4-12 are available at ticketweb.com or in person aboard the American Victory Ship, berthed at 705 Channelside Drive in Tampa behind the Florida Aquarium.

Pearl Harbor Day, marking the day the Japanese attacked the U.S. military installation in Hawaii and drew America into World Warr II, is Dec. 7.

•••

The good news about Hillsborough County, which has one of the nation’s highest concentrations of veterans, is that there are a lot of organizations to help veterans.

The bad news is that there are a lot of organizations to help veterans that often compete for the same dollars and offer the same services.

The United Way is seeking to get a handle on this with an effort it calls Mission United. Launching in January, Mission United is designed as a network-based program connecting veterans, service members and their families to the resources and services they need to acclimate back to civilian life.

"There are a number of high-quality nonprofit organizations providing services exclusively to the veteran community," according to United Way, "and Mission United will make these services easier to navigate by providing a coordinated care network with a simple entry point to help the veteran community access the resources available to them."

There are 93,000 veterans living in Hillsborough County alone, "and many do not know which way to turn for support," Mark Fetterman, Mission United Program director with United Way Suncoast, said in a news release. "Mission United creates a ‘no-wrong door’ approach by bringing together a comprehensive network of collaborative social supports that collectively impact our veteran and military community to live productive, fulfilling and healthy lives, during and after their time in the service."

Mission United has created a partnership among public, private and nonprofit providers in the Suncoast community, including: 2-1-1, Bank of America, Bay Area Legal Services, Hillsborough Community College, Lockheed Martin, MacDill Air Force Base, Saunders Foundation, University of South Florida, USAA and the Veterans Administration.

Through these partnerships, Mission United will "enable military, veterans and their families to successfully transition back to civilian life by affording them the services and support they need, with a focus on employment, navigating benefits, transitioning into the community and family resources," according to the news release.

For more information, go to unitedwaysuncoast.org and click the "What We Do" link at the top.

•••

The Pentagon last week announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Freedom’s Sentinel.

Sgt. 1st Class Hughton O. Brown, 43, of Brooklyn, N.Y., died Nov. 14 in Camp Buehring, Kuwait, as a result of a non-combat related incident. He was assigned to the 306th Engineer Company, 411th Engineer Brigade, Farmingdale, New York. The incident is under investigation.

There have been 2,347 U.S. troop deaths in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan; 46 U.S. troop deaths and one civilian Department of Defense employee death in support of the followup, Operation Freedom’s Sentinel in Afghanistan; 40 troop deaths and two civilian deaths in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, the fight against the Islamic State; one troop death in support of Operation Odyssey Lightning, the fight against Islamic State in Libya; one death classified as other contingency operations in the global war on terrorism and four deaths in ongoing operations in Africa where, if they have a name, officials will not divulge it.

Contact Howard Altman at [email protected] or (813) 225-3112. Follow @haltman.

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