5 things you need to know happening in Florida on Wednesday, May 21, 2014

TAMPA - Here are five things you need to know happening in Florida on Wednesday, May 21, 2014.

(1) International special operations exercise

An international special operations exercise will take place in downtown Tampa on Wednesday. The exercise will begin at 1:30 p.m. in the Seddon Channel basin south of the Tampa Convention Center.

It will involve troops from 16 different nations in land, sea and air scenarios.

The exercise is open to the public. Suggested areas to watch include Bayshore Boulevard near the Platt Street Bridge, the Tampa Riverwalk by the Tampa Convention Center, the northwestern area on Harbour Island and the Harbour Island Bridge.

Today's exercise coincides with the fourth International Special Operations Forces (ISOF) conference being held at the Tampa Convention Center.

Due to the exercise the Harbour Island Bridge will be closed to through traffic between the Westin Hotel and Channelside Drive between 12:00 and 2:30 p.m.

(2) Wounded Warriors visit Winter the dolphin

The Mike Alstott Family Foundation is bringing two Wounded Warriors to visit Winter the dolphin on Wednesday.

The Warriors are in the Tampa Bay area to participate in the Wounded Warrior Amputee Football game.

U.S. Army Specialist Four Tyler "TJ" Jeffries was critically injured when an improvised explosive device (IED) exploded as he patrolled the streets of Afghanistan on October 6, 2012. The 2007 Zephyrhills High graduate's injuries eventually required the amputation of both of his legs.

U.S. Marine Master Sergeant David "Davey" Lind's vehicle struck an IED on June 14, 2007, while in Iraq. The explosion amputated his legs from the knees down.

Both Jeffries and Lind will meet Winter, a dolphin who swims with a prosthetic tale. They will also take a tour of the Clearwater Marine Aquarium and eat lunch with the Alstotts. The visit is scheduled to occur around 11:30 a.m.

(3) Wounded Warrior Amputee flag football game

The Wounded Warrior Amputee Football Team (WWAFT) will play in a charity flag football game on Wednesday night against a team made up of former NFL and Tampa Bay Buccaneers players.

Among those participating are NFL Hall of Famer Jack Youngblood, current Buccaneers wide receiver Vincent Jackson, and former Bucs Mike Alstott, Derrick Brooks, Brad Culpepper, Dave Moore, Ian Beckles, Chris Hovan, Stylez White, Chidi Ahanotu, Martin Gramatica, Earnest Graham, Jeff Garcia and Booger McFarland.

Playing for the WWAFT will be Tampa's own Sgt. Brian Urruela. The game will be played in honor of Major David Taylor who was killed in Baghdad in 2006 in the same attack that injured Urruela. David's wife, Michelle, and their son, Jake, will be honored at the game.

Proceeds will support an education fund established for Jake and to help fund the Wounded Warrior Amputee Football Team's service disability outreach initiatives.

The game will be played at 6:00 p.m. at H.B. Plant High School in Tampa.

The first 1,000 active and retired military personnel at the game will be admitted at no charge.

Ticket prices are $10 for adults and $5 for students (ages 9-17). Children 8 and under are free. You can purchase tickets at www.wwaft.org or at the H.B. Plant High School box office.

(4) New Tampa Walmart store grand opening

The new Walmart store in New Tampa will host a grand opening celebration on Wednesday.

In the parking lot there will be a tent set up with vendor giveaways, samples and coupons. Gaither High School students will perform the National Anthem.

The ribbon cutting ceremonies is scheduled for 7:30 a.m. The store will officially open to the public at 8:00 a.m.

Rays outfielder Matt Joyce will be on hand signing autographs at the store from noon to 1:00 p.m.

The new store, #3197, is located at 15302 North Nebraska Avenue in Tampa.

(5) The Ride of Silence

Dozens of cyclists are scheduled to participate in The Ride of Silence in Tampa on Wednesday night.

This is the 12th year the ride is taking places in cities worldwide. Its aim is to remind motorists, police and city officials that cyclists have a legal right to ride on roads. The ride also honors the cyclists who have been injured or killed while riding their bicycles.

Today's ride will begin around 7:00 p.m. at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park in downtown Tampa. The cyclists will ride about 11 miles past the Tampa Police Headquarters, the County Center, and the site where cyclist Peiter Vanvliet was struck and killed on March 19, 2011.

Tampa City Councilwoman Lisa Montelione is planning to attend the start of the event.

For more information, visit the Tampa Ride of Silence event page on Facebook at www.facebook.com/events/1424831217756056/ .

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