A military blog by Howard Altman
From Afghanistan to the Alafia, Command Post Tampa is your local military news source.
By Howard Altman
TAMPA — While empty chairs at Tropicana Field often outnumber those that are occupied, one will remain permanently vacant f — to honor prisoners of war and troops still missing in action.
The POW/MIA National Chair of Honor will be unveiled Saturday before the Rays’ game against the Houston Astros.
The chair will serve “as a permanent reminder of the nearly 92,000 Americans who have gone missing or become prisoners of war while serving their country,” according to a release from the office of U.S. Rep. David Jolly, R-Indian Shores.
By Howard Altman
About 100 veterans were forced to reschedule appointments at the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital’s outpatient pharmacy building thanks to a power outage caused by a transformer explosion, according to a hospital spokeswoman.
The power outage began Tuesday night and lasted through about 11 a.m. at the building, located at 12210 Bruce B. Downs Blvd., about a block away from the main hospital, according to Karen Collins, a hospital spokeswoman.
Collins said that with power back on, patients who had afternoon appointments are being seen.
As someone who covers special operations and a guy who once created an urban design column when I was editor of the Philadelphia City Paper, I find The Heights redevelopment project fascinating on several levels.
In Monday’s column, I wrote about a concept being created by U.S. Special Operations Command and the local academic/industrial infrastructure called “Thunderdome,” which is essentially a plan to increase the development velocity of SOF-specific products. It would be good news for commandos in the field and a potential economic boon because it would boost the region as a leader in the high-tech accelerator movement, proponents say.
The Thunderdome concept is being shepherded by the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corp., which is putting together a business plan with the understanding that it will take regional buy-in to make it work.
The St. Petersburg Veterans Administration Regional Office will hold a claims clinic Saturday “specifically designed to make the claims process more visible to veterans,” according to VA officials.
“Veterans and survivors will be able to file a claim for compensation, submit evidence, and speak to a VA claims processor at the event,” according to a media release. “Additionally, they will be able to check the status of an existing claim or appeal.”
Veterans interested in filing a new compensation claim or checking the status of an existing claim or appeal are encouraged to attend the claims clinic, which runs from 9 a.m. to noon.
Matt Bunch was a Tampa firefighter who died this morning after battling liver cancer, but a Cinco de Mayo fundraiser in his honor will go on as planned.
The Bad Monkey, an Ybor City bar co-owned by retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Dave Scott, says the event, to raise money for Bunch’s family is still on, starting at 6 p.m.
There will be drink bands, silent auction items, raffle items and cash donations accepted, according to the bar.