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Elected Officials and Candidates Celebrate Armed Forces Day in Fort Harrison

CLEARWATER, Fla, May 26, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- On Saturday, May 21, over 200 guests gathered in the historic Clearwater Fort Harrison, owned by the Church of Scientology, for an event organized by Florida Citizens for Social Reform (FCSR) in honor of Armed Forces Day. Because of the freedoms our Armed Forces defend, the event included information on the judicial and school systems for which elections are due in August.

220 members of the Clearwater Community joined the Florida Citizens for Social Reform at a Brunch held at the Fort Harrison in honor of Armed Forces Day. Here, Joanie Sigal, Co-Founder of FCSR tells guests about the history of Armed Forces Day.


FCSR is a non-profit, non-partisan advocacy organization founded in 2004. They advocate for improvements in public policy and the implementation of effective programs which are designed to reduce dependency and increase competence and participation in society.

MC and FCSR Co-Founder, Mr. Brett Miller, himself a U.S. Air Force Veteran, launched the event with the Pledge of Allegiance and the National Anthem sung by Fort Harrison staff member, Jeremy Moll.

Lisa Mansell, Public Affairs Director for the Church of Scientology Clearwater, followed with a brief history of the role the Fort Harrison played during World War II. She then read a letter from a World War II Naval Officer to the mother of a sailor under his command, explaining the importance of mail from home for troop morale and asking the mother to write to her son. The letter was written by Lt. L. Ron Hubbard, Commanding Officer, who served in the U.S. Navy and later went on to found Scientology.

FCSR Chairman and Co-Founder, Joanie Sigal, gave information about the organization and events that have been done to highlight programs used by the Armed Forces.

“Our servicemen fought for many freedoms,” Joanie said, “Including the freedom to hold a forum like this one, freedom to freely exchange ideas and freedom for you to go to the polls and vote for or against a candidate or issues you care about. It is our hope that you will take advantage of these freedoms.”

Guest speaker and retired U.S. Army Officer, Major Ruth Rymal, spoke of what it means to be in the Armed Forces. That, when one takes on the oath to serve their country, they are taking that responsibility to go anywhere and do anything their country needs them to do.

Mr. Brett Miller spoke of our Armed Forces defending a “free and fair election” as a right. With elections coming up, he brought up two guest speakers to bring the audience up to date on the court system and school system.

Guest speaker and Pinellas County School Board Chairwoman, Peggy O’Shea, gave an overview of the school system. From the abundant information she provided, Mrs. O’Shea explained how it runs and how the Board is working to improve the educational quality in the area.

Second guest speaker and Circuit Court Judge, Pat Siracusa, enlightened on the court system and how it works. He explained the functions of each of the five types of court; Civil, Family, Probate, Criminal and Juvenile. Mr. Siracusa further explained the different cases handled by each court and gave examples of some of his experiences.

“What an informative event,” said one attendee, “I had no idea about the inner workings of the court and school systems, thank you for giving me a view of the side I had not seen before.”

The Fort Harrison frequently hosts community events and makes its facility available to non-profit organizations. To attend future events held in the Fort Harrison, please contact the Public Affairs Office at (727) 467-6860.

About the Fort Harrison Religious Retreat:
Since its construction in 1927, the Fort Harrison has been the home to many charitable events and community organizations. The Fort Harrison’s current owner, the Church of Scientology, has hosted over 500 community events there since it’s top-to-bottom restoration in 2009. The Scientology religion was founded by humanitarian and philosopher, L. Ron Hubbard and incorporated in 1954. It has since expanded to more than 11,000 churches, missions and affiliated groups in 167 nations. To learn more, visit www.Scientology.org.

For Immediate Release Dylan Pires (727) 467-6860

Source:Church of Scientology Flag Service Organization