TAVARES — The Central Florida Veterans Memorial Park Foundation, Inc. is seeking information from the public to ensure that all soldiers who died in battle – starting from World War I until and including present-day conflicts – are thoroughly and correctly honored at a new memorial to be built. Soldiers will be included from Lake, Brevard, Orange, Osceola, Seminole and Volusia counties.
The Veterans Memorial Park will be located adjacent to the new Veterans Affairs Medical Center at Lake Nona, in southeast Orlando. As the foundation begins the construction phase, and before etching granite, it requests all corrections and additions as soon as possible, and no later than April 30.
The names of the fallen now appear, by county, at www.cfvmpf.org, under the “Honors/Fallen Heroes” section. The website also lists the criteria used by government agencies for being honored, as well as information on how to correct and add names to the list, if honorees appear to be missing.
“There are several reasons why a soldier might not be in the official records,” said Tom Osebold, veterans services officer with Lake County’s Community Services Department. “For example, a fallen soldier might be from one of the six counties, but entered the military outside Central Florida and thus, he would not be found in the official record. Another reason might be an ROTC-commissioned officer with a Home of Record within our six-county region, but was commissioned outside the region.”
The research for these names began in 2007 and will be complete with the public’s help. Sources of the names were from the U.S. Department of Defense, Florida’s Department of Veterans Affairs and from County Veteran Service Officer records for the six counties in the region. In the past two years, the all-volunteer Board of Directors of the Central Florida Veterans Memorial Park Foundation has raised sufficient gifts and pledges in both private and public dollars to begin constructing the $1.5-million-dollar Veterans Memorial. Ongoing fundraising efforts seek another $1.5 million in outright gifts, as well as bequests from veterans to the general public, for an endowment fund, intended to facilitate the ongoing maintenance of the memorial grounds.
Verification documents may be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org, faxed to 407-679-1699, or sent via U.S. Mail to the Honors Resolution Committee, c/o CFVMPF, P.O. Box 4303, Winter Park, FL 32793-4303.
For more information, call Jerry E. Pierce, chairman of the foundation, at 407-529-6925; retired Brig. Gen. Stephen M. Seay, president, at 407-234-0471; or retired Maj. Gen. Douglas S. Metcalf at 407-256-4400.