Celebrate the USA during All-American Thursdays at the Harborwalk Village! Nothing says freedom quite like a vintage airplane formation overhead, a warm breeze blowing in off the harbor, and a hero taking the stage to receive recognition - all followed by a dazzling display of fireworks!
The afternoon begins with a roar when a group of local, professional pilots take to the skies in North American T-6 Texans, built-in 1942 for the Navy and Army Air Corp. Through their tight, awe-inspiring formation and aerial maneuvers they always leave us wanting more. The best place to catch a view is along the Harbor docks. This event makes for one of our favorite video and photo ops!
On the main stage, our spotlight shines on one All-American Hero nominated by family, friends, fellow servicemen, or the community, for their outstanding bravery, valor, or service. The Hero’s Ceremony, narrated by local Pastor David Butler, proceeds with a presentation of the colors by the Eglin Honor Guard and a singing of the National Anthem.
As unique as the stories of our heroes, so is that of our performing artist, Reid Soria with Autism Sings. For recording artist, actor, and performer Reid Soria, Autism Sings is the culmination of years spent overcoming the odds. Diagnosed with autism at the age of 3, Reid was never expected to be able to communicate or connect with the world around him. Now an adult, Reid has channeled his talents and sheer grit into an unprecedented story of hope. In finding his own voice, Reid has found a new voice for autism and is communicating and connecting beyond what was once considered possible. When words fail, Autism Sings! Reid’s performance includes patriotic crowd favorites to conclude the ceremony.
Each week we share with you the story of our All-American Hero. A hero, by definition, is “a person who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities”. Be it large or small, their decisions altered the life of another - leaving behind a legacy that travels on through time.
This week we tell the story of Jade Prokop. Jade began her career with the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office in January 2017 as a Communications Officer. Sheriff Eric Aiden details her time with the force by saying,
“Since her hire, Jade has become a valuable asset to her shift and the agency. She can always be depended upon to handle all aspects of the job efficiently, with courtesy and empathy for the citizens she serves. Jade exudes positivity every day, even during the toughest times she is able to spread her uplifting spirit among her shift. There is no doubt, that she is committed to serving the community as a Communications Officer with pride and devotion to her job.
In January 2019, our agency consolidated dispatch services with Okaloosa County Public Safety (EMS/Fire). When the consolidation occurred, we inherited a manpower shortage which forced us to develop a strategy to train several new communications officers while still providing professional dispatch services to the citizens of this county.
One of the most important goals of communications consolidation is the cross-training of each employee. While all employees are expected to cross-train on call taking, some employees go above and beyond to cross-train on every facet of tri-discipline dispatching. Jade is one of these employees. In June 2021, Jade fully cross-trained in every discipline, Law, Fire, and EMS, which is no easy feat. Jade’s attention to detail and ability to multi-task is invaluable to the operations of our center. Jade’s love for the job is apparent in her enthusiasm for training others. Jade has been a Communications Training Officer since July 2020 and has already completed over 300 hours of training thus far. Jade serves as a member of the Communications Policy Update Committee and is a member of the Employee Council Committee as well as the Recruitment Committee. Jade is also committed to her professional development and has applied for Advanced Communications Officer within the Communications Career Development program.
Additionally, in September 2021, Jade successfully completed the Communications Supervisor promotional process, promoting to Assistant Supervisor on December 03, 2021.
Jade is one of our top performers consistently receiving “high compliant” Quality Assurance evaluations. Before being promoted, Jade often sat as the Officer in Charge displaying her leadership abilities by making decisive decisions and making appropriate notifications.
Jade holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemistry with a minor in Justice Studies from Methodist University and a Master of Science Degree in Forensic Drug Chemistry from the University of Florida.
During her off time, Jade volunteers for events involving our agency. Jade’s off-duty volunteering includes the K-9 trials, Star Charity Gun Match, Motorcycle Challenge, Christmas Trees for Hospice, and The Angel Tree. She has proven she is always willing to lend a helping hand whether on duty or off.
Jade consistently goes the extra mile as a Communications Officer, always maintaining a “can do” attitude. Her quality of work and tenacity exemplify her commitment and perseverance to her job. She is the epitome of what a Communications Officer should be, which is evident in her ability to be an influential and strong leader for our center.”
Harborwalk Village stands in salute to SFC Norberto Colon and our Military, Veteran, and First Responder Community. All-American Thursdays are a great opportunity to show your support to the local community and enjoy an evening full of eye-capturing displays. Grab a friend, family member, or fellow serviceman and head to the next All-American Thursday - happening now through August 11th.
We’ll see you there.