Mayor Alvin Brown promoted the Military Affairs, Veterans and Disabled Services position to a cabinet post to provide a direct connection to the mayor’s office. He has stressed improving the City’s relationship with the military as one of his priorities.
"(Brown) wants to make Jacksonville the most military and veteran-friendly city in the United States," said retired Rear Adm. Victor Guillory, City military affairs director.
One of the steps in achieving that goal is the "Week of Valor," a weeklong schedule of events to recognize and celebrate the military leading up to Veterans Day, Nov. 12.
"We want it (Week of Valor) to become an annual event," said Guillory.
The events include:
• Beginning Monday and through Nov. 9, veterans and active duty military personnel will visit local schools to speak with students about leadership, patriotism and civic responsibility.
• Also Monday, the JAX Chamber will host its 10th annual Military Appreciation Luncheon at the Osborn Center.
• JEA Military Appreciation Day will start at 8 a.m. Wednesday at JEA Plaza at 21 W. Church St. Downtown and feature guest speaker Daniel McCarthy of the Wounded Warrior Project.
• Also Wednesday, the City will host its Veterans Summit from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. The City’s military affairs department will partner with the University of North Florida Military and Veterans Resource Center to address challenges facing military veterans and their families.
• Jacksonville's appreciation for the military will have a worldwide stage Nov. 8 when the Jacksonville Jaguars face the Indianapolis Colts in the first game of the NFL's "Salute to Service" weekend. Each NFL city will recognize its veterans with events at each venue.
• The Nov. 8 schedule begins at 8:30 a.m. with the City’s Veterans Job Fair at the Osborn Center. The job fair will feature about 100 companies interested in hiring military veterans.
• Jacksonville will again be on the national stage Nov. 9 when the University of Florida men's basketball team plays Georgetown University on the deck of the USS Bataan at Naval Station Mayport. Before the 9 p.m. tipoff, country music quartet Little Big Town will perform a pregame concert.
• The Florida State College at Jacksonville Downtown Campus will host a Northeast Florida Women Veterans Roundtable from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Nov. 10. Issues to be discussed include combat-related illnesses, domestic abuse and workplace and financial instability.
• The Jacksonville University football game against Campbell University will be the university’s “Military Appreciation Day” and starts at noon Nov. 10.
• The City and Southside Business Men's Club will present "Salute: Veterans Day Picnic & Americana Music Fest" at 1 p.m Nov. 10 at the Landing.
• The dedication of the Marines and Navy FMF Corpsmen Memorial Monument is 2:30 p.m. Nov. 10. at Evergreen Cemetery, 4535 Main St.
• On Nov. 11, the Salute to Veterans 5K will start at 8 a.m. at the Landing to benefit the Jacksonville Historic Naval Ship Association.
The week’s festivities will be capped Nov. 12 with the City’s Veterans Day Parade at 11 a.m. Downtown.
It will include about 4,000 participants.
“We want it to be the biggest parade in the country,” said Guillory.
The City of Jacksonville will have a weeklong recognition Monday-Nov. 12 to recognize and thank military service members, veterans and the U.S. military for their contributions to the Jacksonville community.