This is in no way an attempt to question the service and sacrifice of anyone who has served this country, in war time or not. It is, however, an attempt to bring attention to an issue that has been discussed in the veterans community for years.
What is of concern to Veterans…Why are Veterans excluded? Why are some added to the wall; who were only stationed in Jacksonville? Why aren’t we primarily recognizing those Veterans who actually have Jacksonville, FL, as their “Home of Record”.
Current criteria for being considered to have a name placed on the City Veterans Memorial Wall states: one has to have his or her home of record in Jacksonville or have attended one of the local high schools. To have served in time of war and this is key…”died or killed on active duty”. Died or killed on active duty automatically precludes any Veteran from ever being considered to have his or her name placed on the “VETERANS MEMORIAL WALL”.
A Veteran is one who has completed his or her active duty status and as a result is now considered to be a Veteran. Active duty and Veterans status are two entirely different things. Those who served know and understand this.
What we now have is a Memorial Wall to honor Veterans, but it is set up using criteria that actually precludes Veterans from ever being considered. WHY?
Veterans understand there need to be guidelines, but also understand there are, at times, exceptions to the guidelines or times when those guidelines need to be changed. There seems to be several examples of exceptions having been applied for whatever reasons.
The exceptions in criteria: some were added to the Wall after merely being stationed in Jacksonville, but added under the criteria, of “Home of Record”. Living in Jacksonville when stationed at one of the area military bases is not the same as having “Home of Record”, as Jacksonville.
Home of Record is defined as the state (FL) recorded by the military as your home when you were enlisted, appointed, commissioned, inducted or ordered in a tour of active duty.
Other exceptions, also seem to have been “fudged” to meet the criteria. The criteria of served in time of war has examples.
What is NOT Understandable?
Why an exception can’t be applied for a real hometown Jacksonville Marine Veteran?
Why a Jacksonville, Florida, Fletcher HS Grad is not placed on the wall?
Why a “Veteran” with two combat tours in Fallujah, Iraq, who succumbed to the invisible wounds of combat, is not honored on a “VETERANS WALL”, in his own city?
Randall Hansen, Sgt., USMC VETERAN, when added to the VETERANS Memorial Wall in Jacksonville, Florida, may very well be the First Veteran placed on it.