Army veteran and Ocoee resident Robert F. Hartley will address the crowd at the city of Ocoee’s annual Veterans Day Ceremony at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 11. The program takes place at Bill Breeze Park, 125 N. Lakeshore Drive.
The keynote speaker is a retired Army chief warrant officer. He served 22 years of active duty service and two combat tours of duty in Vietnam as an attack helicopter pilot. He is highly decorated, and his awards include the Distinguished Flying Cross, two Bronze Star Medals, two Meritorious Service Medals and 38 Air Medals. He is a certified airline captain and has accumulated more than 14,000 hours of flight time during his aviation career.
Hartley has written a book about his wartime experiences in Vietnam: “Gunship Pilot: An Attack Helicopter Warrior Remembers Vietnam.” It covers his first tour of duty, 1968-69; he arrived right after the Tet Offensive, which was one of the largest military campaigns of the war. His book begins with a 200-helicopter mission along the Ho Chi Minh Trail.
The veteran will be available to sign copies of his book after the Veterans Day ceremony.
The tribute in Ocoee will include song selections by Theresa Rosenberg, city of Ocoee; music played by the Ocoee Middle School band; and flag presentations by the Ocoee High School Junior ROTC Color Guard and the Ocoee Police Department Honor Guard.
The public is invited to attend. For more information, call the city of Ocoee at (407) 905-3100.