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Posted September 22, 2017 | 11:26 AM

Hillsborough County to Dedicate Afghanistan War Memorial

U.S. CENTCOM Commander will be among those honoring fallen heroes

Hillsborough County, Fla. (Sept. 22, 2017) - They called Hillsborough County home, but they gave their lives in service more than 7,000 miles away. On Saturday, Oct. 7, at 11 a.m., those who loved them, looked up to them, and respected these local heroes will pay tribute when Hillsborough County and the Veterans Memorial Park Museum Committee dedicate the Afghanistan War Memorial.

The memorial is the newest addition to Veterans Memorial Park and Rear Admiral LeRoy Collins, Jr., Veterans Museum, located at 3602 U.S. Highway 301 N. in Tampa. The dedication ceremony will feature keynote speaker Gen. Joseph L. Votel, Commander, U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) at MacDill Air Force Base.

The event is open to all. Bleacher seating is available; attendees are also encouraged to bring lawn chairs, arrive early for best parking, or join the motorcycle procession to the event.

The conflict in Afghanistan began on Oct. 7, 2001, transitioned to Operation Freedom's Sentinel, and remains America's longest-running war. The Afghanistan War Memorial honors Veterans who deployed to Afghanistan, notably 16 fallen service members from Hillsborough County and 135 other Floridians who made the ultimate sacrifice during Operation Enduring Freedom from 2001 to 2014. The monument features a guard tower and barricade atop pillars.

In addition to Gen. Votel, other special guests include Scott Bill, a U.S. Navy Seal Gold Star Father, and several Gold Star families.

The day's schedule includes:

  • 8 a.m. - Veterans Memorial Park opens for viewing of all monuments and memorials
  • 10 a.m. - LeRoy Collins, Jr. Veterans Museum opens
  • 10:30 a.m. - motorcycle procession from the Mobile truck stop, 6503 U.S Highway 301 N.
  • 11 a.m. - dedication ceremony
  • Noon - refreshments and fellowship

For more information, call Hillsborough County Consumer & Veterans Services at (813) 246-3170.

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