JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Mayor Alvin Brown announced Thursday the city of Jacksonville will highlight the city's commitment to the military and veterans during a week honoring them in November.
The "Week of Valor" will bring the community together to honor service members, celebrating their lives and reflecting on their sacrifices.
On November 5, the week will kick off with a military appreciation luncheon sponsored by the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce.
The week will include two major sporting events. Thursday, November 8 the Jacksonville Jaguars take on the Indianapolis Colts in a nationally televised game at EverBank Field. A media luncheon will take place at Naval Station Mayport prior to the Jags taking on the Colts.
Friday, November 9, the Navy-Marine Corps Classic basketball game will take place aboard the USS Bataan. The Bataan is one of three representational Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) ships stationed in Jacksonville by the end of 2013 at Naval Station Mayport for the game. A three-ship ARG is scheduled to be stationed at NS Mayport in 2013. The game will be the start of the NCAA men's basketball season and will feature the University of Florida versus Georgetown University. On Friday morning, the City of Jacksonville's Veterans Job Fair will begin.
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Alan Verlander, Director, Sports & Entertainment for the City ofJacksonville, said, "The Navy-Marine Corps Classic is proving to be anevent that honors our military while highlighting two of the nation'spremiere college basketball teams. While the game will only take 40minutes to decide, the event will create memories for all fans for alifetime and will showcase Jacksonville to the nation."
Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown said, "It is my honor to participate in this salute to the brave men and women who have worked so hard and made such incredible sacrifices to preserve freedom for countless Americans. Jacksonville's expansive military and veterans community helps to define out city an fuel our economy. Our longstanding friendship with America's military is a tremendous point of pride that I am excited to celebrate."
Rear Admiral John Scorby, Commander, Navy Region Southeast, said, "The city of Jacksonville has publicly declared itself ad the most military friendly city in the nation. And from where I'm sitting, they back these words with action."
The city is also partnering with the UNF Military and Veteran Resource Council and the Jacksonville Military and Veterans Coalition.
JAX Chamber Military Issues Chair and retired Rear Admiral James Stevenson said, "We are privileged to live in a country where our freedoms are protected by millions of individuals who have served in the past or are currently serving in one of the branches of our country's uniformed services. The business community is honored to recognize those who have sacrificed and served -- during the Week of Valor and throughout the year."
Mark Laming, Jaguars President, said, "We're excited to partner with the city in presenting and promoting the Week of Valor events and the Salute to Service. The Jaguars are very proud of the men and women in uniform who serve our country every day, and we're honored to help pay tribute to them throughout the year and in particular during this special week and these events and activities."
The city will host active-duty military and veteran volunteers Wednesday, November 7, at Duval County Public Schools. Veterans will tell students about their sacrifices and their commitment. After the presentation, a veterans community summit will take place to address challenges local veterans are facing.
The week's celebrations will conclude November 12 with the City of Jacksonville's Veterans Recognition Breakfast. The Veterans Day Parade will immediately precede the breakfast.
Military Affairs Division Director retired Rear Admiral Victor Guillory said, "The Week of Valor is a terrific and very visible demonstration of the City of Jacksonville's enduring appreciation for the service and sacrifice of all those who have served, and for those who continue to serve, our great nation and the ideals near and dear to each of us. This week will showcase a wide range of impressive military and veterans related recognition events. The nearly one million citizens of our great city will have many opportunities during this week to share a common theme of respect and admiration of those who have, and those who continue to wear our nation's cloth."