360 reminders: 4th annual Field of Valor opens Sept. 9

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special to Daily News

NICEVILLE — The Exchange Club of Niceville will again host the 4th annual Field of Valor flag display — honoring service members from Florida who have made the ultimate sacrifice in Iraq and Afghanistan since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Club members will set up 360 3-by-5-foot U.S. flags in orderly rows at the north end of the Mullet Festival Grounds. A tag on each flag will bear information on a fallen service member: name, rank, hometown, branch of service, and date of death.  The flags are arranged alphabetically and there will be an information table with volunteers available to answer questions and direct visitors around the field.

The opening ceremony is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 9, and the display will be open from noon-8 p.m. through Friday, Sept. 15. On Sept. 16 — the final day of the Field of Valor — the display will be open from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. There is no charge to attend.

Opening ceremony speakers will include: Air Force Col. Jimmy Mott, commander of the 1st Special Operations Group; Army Col. Patrick T. Colloton, group commander of the 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne); and Lt. Gen. Air Force (Ret.) Richard Y. Newton III.

Visitors attending the opening ceremony will also have the opportunity to view a replica of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.  This tomb replica is a very detailed, half-sized replica of the original and is brought to the event by the Exchange Club of Rome, Georgia.  It will be displayed only during the opening ceremony.

Individual flags may be sponsored for $25 each. There are also premier sponsorships ranging from $250 to $2,500 and include sponsored flags, print media mention and other benefits. Proceeds from this event will benefit The Fisher House of the Emerald Coast and the Exchange Club of Niceville’s local community and Americanism projects.

For more information, contact Field of Valor chairman Paul McShane at: 850-678-8680, rockne@cox.net or nicevilleexchange@gmail.com.

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