American Legion Post 129 in Jacksonville Beach, Fla., has taken The American Legion's support of the U.S. Armed Forces Community Covenant program to heart, signing an agreement with several area government leaders.
The Community Covenant program aims to inspire leadership in U.S. states, cities and towns to conduct signing ceremonies that visibly demonstrate support for military families. Since the program's inception, more than 450 covenants have been signed in 48 states, three territories and Washington, D.C. In February of 2009, the Legion announced its support for the program, and during the 2009 National Convention in Louisville, the organization reaffirmed that support by putting its name on an agreement with the armed forces Community Covenant that included signatures from all 55 American Legion department commanders.
Post 129 Commander Jerry Brandt, working with Jacksonville City Councilman John Meserve, brought together the mayors from Jacksonville Beach, Atlantic Beach and Neptune Beach to sign their covenant. Joining Post 129 were Posts 316 in Atlantic Beach and 233 in Ponte Vedra Beach, along with Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3270, Fleet Reserve Association Branch 290 and the Mayport chapter of the Military Officers Association.
Post 129's Community Covenant pledged to, "Create a strong relationship between the community and our military personnel; educate the public of the value of servicemembers living in the community; develop programs and policies in support of our nation's veterans, military personnel and their families; and to support and implement the nationwide efforts of the Armed Forces Community Covenant Program."
The first evidence of the new relationship was the joint undertaking of developing a veterans memorial park donated by the city of Atlantic Beach. The park will be available as a central location for all veteran activities, while its development costs will be borne by the entire community. At its April 12 meeting, the Atlantic Beach City Commission approved the Veterans Park master plan and the final master plan, as well as a change of name to the" Beaches Veterans Memorial Park"