JACKSONVILLE — Dear Friends, With Memorial Day approaching, I wanted to take a moment to express the importance of our military and veterans communities in Jacksonville. I am proud to be mayor of a city where one in every four people I greet is connected to the service in some way, whether they are on active duty, a reservist or a veteran.
For many, this is a solemn and somber time to reflect on the ultimate sacrifice that so many of our friends, family and neighbors have made in service to our great nation. As mayor, a father and a fellow American, I ask that each of us honor the brave by preserving their memory with joyful reflection and fellowship.
For our military community, this is also a time of great optimism. In February, Jacksonville received an important visit from Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus to describe the buildup of patrol craft, destroyers, littoral combat ships and the amphibious readiness group at our Naval Station Mayport. In March, we had more good news that the Navy invested $40 million into Naval Air Station Jacksonville to make it the world’s only training facility for the Poseidon aircraft fleet.
These are both tremendous votes of confidence to support our reputation as one of America’s great military cities. Being a military town helps to define our neighborhoods, our culture and the fabric of everything it means to live in Jacksonville. My goal is to continue to focus on quality of service and City Hall’s connection with the military to make Jacksonville the most military-friendly city in the nation.
That’s why I appointed a retired two-star admiral, Victor Guillory, to serve as my chief of Military Affairs, Veterans and Disabled Services, while elevating this position to advise me on citywide policy matters at the cabinet level. We’re focusing on big issues such as homelessness and employment for our vets, and we appreciate all the help and support we’re gaining from the community to prioritize these matters.
Among the newest initiatives is Jobs for Veterans, which is a public-private partnership tailored to help veterans gain success in the civilian world by using their skills and discipline in our job market. You can learn more by visiting www.coj.net/jobsforvets.
I wish everyone a safe Memorial Day.
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Alvin Brown Mayor Of Jacksonville
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