Tampa, FL (PRWEB) May 19, 2014
The Officer Candidate School (OCS) U.S. Army Graduating Class of 1968 is holding their 46th reunion in Tampa Bay on June 14th 2014. During this event, graduates celebrate their camaraderie as Vietnam Veterans, and honor those who have provided service to our magnificent country. The three-day celebration of the 508th Engineer Officer Candidate Regiment coincides with Flag Day and the 239th Anniversary of the founding of the U.S. Army.
At 9:00 AM on June 14th the Class of 508 will conduct the Flag Day Ceremony at Knights Point on Harbor Island, honoring our Flag and all branches of the Armed Forces. Buglers from the University of South Florida’s marching band will perform echo taps to honor all of our fallen troops from Hillsborough County. Pastor Todd Roberts will give the invocation, Mayor Bob Buckhorn will give the official greeting, and Commander Scott Calhoun, USCG, will give the keynote address. LCDR Janelle Terrell, USN, will act as master of ceremonies.
During the ceremony, Tampa’s Christina Sanders Fontana will act as soloist and three tenors will sing the national anthem and the patriotic selection. Color guards from each branch of the military will raise their respective flags. The United States Coast Guard detachment on Davis Island will provide an additional color guard to raise the American Flag – a Garrison Flag that flew over a Special Forces unit in Afghanistan.
There will also be a brunch on Sunday, June 15th honoring Olympian Tim Montgomery with the 508th “DRIVE-ON Award for Courage.” Montgomery held the world record for the 100-meter in 2002, and won Silver and Gold medals in two separate Olympics. Montgomery’s rise, fall and comeback create one of the most compelling stories in recent sport history.
The unique graduating class of ‘68 was one of the first classes in Army OCS history that consisted of all college graduates. For a short time, the Army waved the rule for applicants allowing those without ROTC participation to qualify for the OCS program. The majority of classmates were drafted and only 60 of 125 were commissioned. Generals Tommy Franks and David Petraeus commented that the, “Class of ’68 reunion is unique in Army annals.” These citizen soldiers developed an extremely tight bond during their OCS training that led to this continued camaraderie. (Pictured: an image created by Charles Maxwell of Maximus Publishing.)
Every two years, 40 of the 60 graduates and their spouses attend these reunions. Robert Wilde, a proud graduate of the Class of ’68 and Tampa resident, dedicates himself to making this a remarkable celebration. The 3-Day Veteran Officer’s Reunion celebrates the Class 508, and all of those who have served and presently serve our Nation.
The Presenting Sponsor is USAA. Supporting sponsors are The Tampa Tribune, Head’s Flags, Hooters of America, and The Westin Tampa Harbour Island. Other local businesses supporting this effort are: A Media Marketing, Bay Bouquet, Harbour Island Athletic Club & Spa, Jackson’s Bistro, Rustic Steel Creations, Express Press, and U.S. United Ocean Services LLC.