Memorial Day
Monday May 29, 2023

The American Legion Cemetery, Inc.
The American Legion 
USS Tampa Post 5 Families


Master of Ceremonies Terry Doan
(Director of the American Legion Cemetery Corporation and member of the American Legion U.S.S. Tampa Post 5)

Opening Prayer
Chaplain (Colonel) Eric J. Albertson 
(Command Chaplain for the US Special Operations Command)

Advancement of Colors
Color Guard from Jefferson, 
Sons of the American Revolution, 
Post 5 Honor Guard

Pledge of Allegiance
Nahia Campbell
2023 ALA Unit 5 Girls State Delegate, Jr at Jefferson HS, Cadet Major in Jefferson ROTC, member of today's Jefferson Color Guard

Gail Cooper, American Legion Auxiliary Unit 5 Member
National Anthem

Guest Speaker
Emily Peake
District winner of the American Legion Oratorical Contest, 
a sophomore at Cambridge Christian School, 
and placed 3rd in the Department of Florida Oratorical Contest as the youngest contestant. 

Gail Cooper, American Legion Auxiliary Unit 5 Member
Battle Hymn of the Republic

Guest Speaker
Lt. Col. Jeremy “Scooby” J.C. Shoop (ret.) 

Mayor's Proclamation (PDF)
Brian Fuerst
Commander, Sons of the American Legion Sq. 5, Tampa

Post Everlasting - Placement of Wreaths
Announcements by Jess "J.R." Scoggins
Presented by Terry Doan,
Charlie Bodishbaugh, and
Angel Valentin

Reading of "In Flanders’s Field" 
by John McCrae
Susie Nicely
President of the American Legion Auxiliary Unit 5

Gail Cooper, American Legion Auxiliary Unit 5 Member
God Bless the U.S.A (Proud to be an American)

Reading of "A Soldier Died Today"
by A. Larry Vaincourt
Janice Man-Son-Hing
a retired member of the Tampa Police Department

Closing Prayer
Chaplain (Colonel) Eric J. Albertson 
(Command Chaplain for the US Special Operations Command)

Three Rifle Volley Salute
The American Legion Post 5 Honor Guard, 
led by Post 5 Commander J.R. Scoggins

Retrieve the Colors the  the Colors
Color Guard from Jefferson, 
Sons of the American Revolution, 
Post 5 Honor Guard

Raising of Flags to Full Staff

Closing Remarks
Master of Ceremonies Terry Doan
(Director of the American Legion Cemetery Corporation and member of the American Legion U.S.S. Tampa Post 5)

Be the One!!!

Learn more about the U.S.S. Tampa, PDF

Speaker Bio's

Chaplain (Colonel) Eric J. Albertson is the US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) Command Chaplain, stationed at MacDill Air Force Base, Tampa, Florida. In this position, he oversees comprehensive religious support for all US Forces serving throughout SOCOM. As a special staff officer for the SOCOM Commander, Chaplain Albertson is responsible for providing strategic guidance on spiritual, religious, and ethical matters pertaining to the force. Chaplain Albertson was ordained a Roman Catholic Priest on 10 May 1986. After seven years of ministry in the Diocese of Arlington, Virginia, his Bishop released him for active duty in the Army in 1993. 

His military career began at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, with the 82nd Airborne Division. He has served in multiple units throughout his 27 years of service: the 82nd Airborne Division, 2nd Infantry Division (twice), 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division (twice), Recruiting Command, Installation Management Command (twice), 3rd Infantry Division (twice), 10th Mountain Division, Southern European Task Force (SETAF)/US Army Africa, NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan, US Forces Korea, US Army Japan, US Central Command, and has been assigned numerous times overseas, including Italy, Japan, Korea (four tours), and has deployed to Haiti, Bosnia, Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan. He is a recipient of the Military Chaplains Association Award for Distinguished Service and is a graduate of the US Army War College. 

Emily Peake is a rising junior at Cambridge Christian School who most recently placed 3rd in the American Legion Florida Department State Oratorical Contest. She’s interested in all things history and writing, but when she is not researching Constitutional Law, you can find her on the Volleyball Court playing with her school and club teams. She loves Jesus, overpriced coffee, traveling, and spending time with her friends and family. Emily aspires to study political science, and she hopes you might one day see her as the future White House Press Secretary.  

​Mr. Jeremy J.C. Shoop was born near London, England and continued to live overseas for the next eighteen years, residing in the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Japan, and Holland, as well as traveling extensively throughout Europe, Asia, and the United States. He received his commission through Air Force ROTC Detachment 840, Texas State University in 1988.

Lt Col Shoop (ret.) was a career Special Tactics Officer (Combat Control), and served at numerous echelons of responsibility within Special Operations for over almost three decades, the majority of which was spent as a plankholder with the 123rd Special Tactics Squadron, an Air Force Special Operations Command unit. He deployed multiple times to the GWOT, including twice as Commander, 720th Expeditionary Special Tactics Group, responsible for all USAF Special Tactics in-theater. He also served multiple years in an undercover role within Counter-Drug surveillance. He relinquished command of his unit in 2009 and subsequently served for several years at the National Guard Bureau, Arlington, VA, where he was a Division Chief responsible for all Air National Guard Special Operations and Rescue forces. Additionally he served in the Bureau’s International Affairs division, working with various international and US Government inter-agency organizations. After leaving the National Capital Region, he PCS’d to Headquarters, United States Special Operations Command, where he served in multiple roles within the Afghanistan OPT, as Liaison Officer to NATO SOF HQ, SOCCENT Liaison Officer to the Joint Staff DDSO-CT, and the J3-International, from whence he officially retired in 2016. 

Mr. Shoop returned to HQ USSOCOM in August 2017 as a Contractor in J35, working Partner Nation Integration for Operation GALLANT PHOENIX. In January 2019, he transitioned to Civil Service within HQ USSOCOM J5 as an Analyst for SOF Posture & Basing worldwide. He now works within the Command’s Joint MISO WebOps Center (JMWC), where his primary responsibility resides with Partner Nation Engagements & Integration. 

He is highly experienced as a parachutist (Military Freefall and Static-Line), Combat SCUBA Diver & Supervisor, and military Mountaineer. Additional extensive skills include: Air Traffic Control; Joint Terminal Attack Control; Assault Zone Surveys and Operations (covert and overt); Direct Action; Special Reconnaissance & Surveillance; and Personal Recovery. 

His civilian education includes a Bachelor’s degree from Texas State University, and a Master of Science degree in Strategic Intelligence from American Military University. He is a graduate of Squadron Officer’s School, Air Command and Staff College, Joint Forces Staff College, Air War College, and the Joint Advanced Warfighting School (JAWS) in residence, where he was awarded a second Master’s degree of Science in Joint Strategy and Campaign Planning.

Mr. Shoop is married and lives with his wife Jennifer and Odie, their beloved beagle, in close proximity to MacDill AFB. 

"In Flanders’s Field"
by John McCrae

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Just A Common Soldier
(A Soldier Died Today)
by A. Lawrence Vaincourt

He was getting old and paunchy 
and his hair was falling fast,

And he sat around the Legion, 
telling stories of the past.

Of a war that he had fought in 
and the deeds that he had done,

In his exploits with his buddies; 
they were heroes, every one.

And tho' sometimes, to his neighbors, 
his tales became a joke,

All his Legion buddies listened, 
for they knew whereof he spoke.

But we'll hear his tales no longer 
for old Bill has passed away,

And the world's a little poorer, 
for a soldier died today.

He will not be mourned by many, 
just his children and his wife,

For he lived an ordinary 
and quite uneventful life.

Held a job and raised a family, 
quietly going his own way,

And the world won't note his passing, 
though a soldier died today.

When politicians leave this earth, 
their bodies lie in state,

While thousands note their passing 
and proclaim that they were great.

Papers tell their whole life stories, 
from the time that they were young,

But the passing of a soldier 
goes unnoticed and unsung.

Is the greatest contribution 
to the welfare of our land

A guy who breaks his promises 
and cons his fellow man?

Or the ordinary fellow who, 
in times of war and strife,

Goes off to serve his Country 
and offers up his life?

A politician's stipend 
and the style in which he lives

Are sometimes disproportionate 
to the service that he gives.

While the ordinary soldier, 
who offered up his all,

Is paid off with a medal 
and perhaps, a pension small.

It's so easy to forget them 
for it was so long ago,

That the old Bills of our Country went to battle, 
but we know

It was not the politicians, 
with their compromise and ploys,

Who won for us the freedom 
that our Country now enjoys.

Should you find yourself in danger, 
with your enemies at hand,

Would you want a politician 
with his ever-shifting stand?

Or would you prefer a soldier, 
who has sworn to defend

His home, his kin and Country 
and would fight until the end?

He was just a common soldier 
and his ranks are growing thin,

But his presence should remind us 
we may need his like again.

For when countries are in conflict, 
then we find the soldier's part

Is to clean up all the troubles 
that the politicians start.

If we cannot do him honor 
while he's here to hear the praise,

Then at least let's give him homage 
at the ending of his days.

Perhaps just a simple headline
 in a paper that would say,

Our Country is in mourning, 
for a soldier died today.

Never Forgotten