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Bay Pines VA Healthcare System
Bay Pines VA to Hold Annual Memorial Day Ceremony on May 28
April 27, 2018
BAY PINES, FL — The Bay Pines VA Healthcare System (VAHCS) will commemorate Memorial Day with a ceremony on Monday, May 28 at 10:00 a.m. at the Bay Pines National Cemetery. Click here for driving directions and a campus map.
This is the only National Cemetery in Pinellas and Hillsborough counties and the largest observance of Memorial Day with more than 4,000 expected attendees. Veterans, their families and friends, and the general public are invited to attend. Prior to the ceremony, on Saturday, May 26, volunteers from the community will mark more than 35,000 graves at the cemetery with U.S. flags to honor the men and women who served the Nation.
Guest speakers for the event include U.S. Representative Charlie Crist, 13th Congressional District of Florida; and local leaders from the Bay Pines VA Healthcare System, St. Petersburg VA Regional Office, and Bay Pines National Cemetery. The event will also feature traditional military tributes and music provided by the Suncoast Symphony Orchestra.
Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs (FDVA) Executive Director Glenn Sutphin will provide the keynote address. Retired U.S. Army Lt. Col. Glenn Sutphin was appointed Executive Director of the FDVA by Gov. Rick Scott and the Cabinet on Aug. 2, 2016. The FDVA, on behalf of the Governor and Cabinet, is the premier point of entry for Florida veterans to access earned services, benefits and support.
Lt. Col. Sutphin served as Legislative Affairs Director and Chief of Staff for the Florida Department of Military Affairs from March 1999 until his appointment as FDVA Interim Executive Director on April 26, 2016. He entered active duty service as an enlisted soldier in 1969, received his commission as a Field Artillery Officer, and finished his military service in the Florida National Guard. He led soldiers in seven operational deployments during his 30 years in uniform before retiring in 1999.
Parking for the event is available nearby. Shuttles will provide transportation for guests from parking lots to the National Cemetery. The venue is handicapped accessible. A sign language interpreter will be available for the hearing impaired.
The ceremony will be held rain or shine. Please plan appropriately for inclement weather. For further information about the event or to volunteer to help mark graves, please contact the cemetery office at 727-319-6479. This event is open for media coverage. For advanced information, please contact Jason Dangel, Public Affairs Officer, at 727-398-9531 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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About the Bay Pines VA Healthcare System
The Bay Pines VAHCS is one of the nation’s leading VA healthcare systems, employing nearly 4,300 medical professionals and support staff dedicated to providing the very best care to Veterans residing in southwest Florida. The organization is one of the largest VA health care systems in the country in terms of patients served and is accredited by The Joint Commission, Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, and several other nationally recognized accrediting organizations. The Bay Pines VAHCS operates nine facilities to include the main medical center located in Bay Pines and outpatient clinics located in Bradenton, Cape Coral, Naples, Palm Harbor, Port Charlotte, Sarasota, St. Petersburg, and Sebring. To learn more, please visit www.baypines.va.gov, like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/vabaypines, or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/vabaypines.