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Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center - Houston, Texas

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Memorial Day Service at Houston VA National Cemetery

May 14, 2012

A special Memorial Day Service will be held on Monday, May 28, 2012 at 9:30 a.m. at the Houston VA National Cemetery, located at 10410 Veterans Memorial Drive.

This year, the Department of Veterans Affairs is pleased to announce that retired Navy Reserve Captain Richard L. Halferty will give the Memorial Day address. Halferty serves as the Chief Operating Officer for H.M.S. Telecom LLC., and has extensive experience in logistics, contingency and emergency planning.  Halferty served in the United States Navy Reserve for over 38 years retiring as a Captain in 1986.  He currently serves as Chairman, Korean War Veterans, Lone Star Chapter.  Among his military awards are the Navy Commendation Medal, China Service Medal, National Defense Medal, Armed Forces Reserve and the United Nations Medal. 

In addition to Halferty’s remarks, the event will feature a parade of colors and wreaths by numerous local veterans’ organizations, ROTC units, and Boy and Girl Scout troops. All Boy and Girl Scout organizations in southeast Texas are invited to attend.

There will also be many symbolic highlights including a flyover by the U.S. Coast Guard; a performance of Taps; a cannon salute; a riderless horse procession by the Houston Police Mounted Patrol; Amazing Grace performed by Ian Martin; and a rifle salute by the 1st Battalion, 23rd Marines. Peggy Slay, president of the Houston Gold Star Mothers, will lead the pledge of allegiance.

The Memorial Day Service, honoring deceased United States servicemen and women, is free and open to the public.

Visit the Houston National Cemetery Administration Web site at http://www.cem.va.gov/CEM/cems/nchp/houston.asp for construction information.  Guests who wish to visit gravesites are encouraged to arrive prior to 8 a.m. or after 1 p.m. following the Memorial Day service.

Metro Service:  The 108 Veterans Memorial will provide special service to the Houston National Cemetery in honor of the national holiday.  Park for FREE at the North Shepherd Park & Ride for convenient connection to the 108 Veterans Memorial.  The route will run from 7 a.m. – 1 p.m. (fares apply) on a 20 minute frequency.  Additional transportation will be provided at the gate of the Cemetery to the event.  For more information, contact Metro at 713-635-4000.

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BACKGROUND INFORMATION: The Houston VA National Cemetery is the second largest national cemetery in the region, encompassing some 419 acres of a former dairy farm in northwest Houston. The cemetery's focal point and the site of all special observances is the horseshoe-shaped building at its center known as the Hemicycle. This exposed aggregate structure contains a chapel and a 75-foot bell tower and encloses a courtyard that can accommodate as many as 5,000 people. All veterans with general or better discharges, their spouses, and dependent children are eligible for burial in a national cemetery. Eligible veterans may receive a VA grave marker or headstone even if they are not buried in a national cemetery.

DRIVING DIRECTIONS: The Houston VA National Cemetery is located 15 miles northwest of downtown Houston. From Bush Intercontinental Airport, take John F. Kennedy Blvd. south to Beltway 8. Turn right onto Beltway 8 west and exit at Ella. Follow the feeder road west to the third traffic light. Turn left on Veterans Memorial Drive. Proceed to the first traffic light and turn left on T.C. Jester. The cemetery entrance is on the right.