Veterans were honored by a local charity and by the City of Jacksonville during the first week in August. We Can Be Heroes Foundation hosted a capacity crowd at its Aug. 3 “Breakfast with Our Heroes,” in appreciation of all veterans and in honor of the nation’s combat wounded to celebrate National Purple Heart Day, observed Aug. 7.
Volunteers from Clara White Mission helped serve breakfast at the Applebee’s restaurant on Butler Boulevard as the Atlantic Coast Young Marines chapter welcomed and visited with the guests, who included World War II veterans Walter Atwood and Bob Hall.
“I felt so honored at this breakfast,” veteran Steve Reynolds said, “Vets who fear being forgotten don’t need to worry here; Jacksonville always remembers its vets.”
Additionally, the City and the Chapter 524 Military Order of the Purple Heart recognized wounded heroes of the U.S. Armed Forces. The Purple Heart Recognition Day observance took place Aug. 6 at the Veterans Memorial Wall. The ceremony featured music by the Navy Band Southeast Windward Brass Quintet and keynote remarks from LTC Jeffrey Wyatt, USAR, a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Purple Heart recipient.
Following the program, attendees were invited to walk the Purple Heart Trail, a quarter-mile walk from the Veterans Memorial Wall to the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena that was decorated by Navy Wives Clubs of American, Daughters in Dixie.