Open Letter from Joe West, President of V.E.T. Inc
2012 – As Another Parade Approaches
I have been taking time to look back over the last 2 years and to appreciate the growth of both participation and community support in the Veteran’s Day Parade and Festival. We know that V.E.T. Inc has chosen the right path to follow for the annual Leon County / Tallahassee Veteran’s Day Parade because the response from the community has been so positive.
Due to financial constraints, we were not able to reach all of our goals in 2011, like the Air Force Flyover or the National Guard Artillery Salute. We were able to get our first 5 K race up and running. (Yes, there was a pun intended!) and with over 160 runners last year, you can be assured that this year’s race will be a huge draw and fun for the entire community. The first year of this great event was sponsored by V.E.T. Inc’s long time supporter, Full Press Apparel. They will continue to sponsor the race this year and have renamed the race The Allen Beal Memorial 5 K by Full Press Apparel, in honor of V.E.T Inc Charter Member and 2010 Grand Marshall Retired U.S.Army 1st Sgt Allen Beal who passed away this past spring after fighting Stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer for over 2 years.
All the members of V.E.T. Inc. are grateful to Full Press Apparel’s decision to honor one of our own. Thank you Danny and Tracey Shrine, owners of Full Press Apparel.
Continuing with the community momentum we have gained over the past 2 years, we are planning new and innovative events and activities to help our Parade, Festival and 5K grow. There are many exciting possibilities on the drawing board; bringing in Vietnam Era aircraft for flyovers and demonstrations, Huey Helicopter rides, making the Festival one of the major stops for the Traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall and inviting one of the Marine Marching Bands to participate as well as a Color Guard from the DC area that are stationed at Arlington National Cemetery. These are just a few of the ideas being discussed at the V.E.T. Inc business meetings, held the second Monday of the month at The Hooch on Lake Ella. There are many events and activities that we can plan to honor the brave men and women who have served our country in uniform but without your help, none of this will be possible.
Fund-raising is critical and to that end, we encourage you to consider making a direct donation to V.E.T. Inc or becoming a sponsor for the Parade or one of our related activities. More information on sponsorship packages will be forthcoming shortly and of course, you can always call on me if you would like to discuss sponsorship or direct donation.
If you or someone you know wants to be a part of supporting and honoring our Veterans, V.E.T. Inc always has room for more volunteers, either on Parade Day or year round, as our planning starts in January each year.
From all of us at Veteran Events in Tallahassee we thank you all for your continued support of our Nation’s Veterans.
President, V.E.T. Inc