Tampa Bay Troop Support News Troop News Local Soldier Comes Home for a Visit.
Message from Dave

November 4th, 2017
Holiday Packing Event

More arrived over the weekend, and by the time we are through, MORE THAN 300 boxes will be shipped for the holidays!!!

Our Holiday Packing Event was hosted this year by American Legion Post 273 on beautiful Madeira Beach, Florida. Tampa Bay Troop Support has found a new home by invite from the Legion Commander and the Ladies Auxiliary. We have had three very successful events there, and look forward to many more. I want to give a huge note of thanks to all of those involved in making Tampa Bay Troop Support feel welcomed, and again to those who came out to support our event!

We had our usual packing of goodies, candy, snacks, books, magazines, toiletries, you name it, it was on the tables ready to be shipped! As the day started, there were dozens of volunteers coming in to bring goods and help us pack the boxes. A big thank you to the Ladies Auxiliary for collecting goods and coming out to help, and to the Legion Commander - Jim White - who also gave us $500 in donations toward our shipping! There were also a lot of other companies and groups who helped with donations of goods, shipping, and support as well; MBA, Pinellas County School Board, Freedom Sales & Marketing, Clearwater Threshers, Tampa Bay Rays, Cross Components, Largo Area Historical Society, Silicon Systems, Great Clips Bardmoor, Madeira Beach Brown Boxer, Biff Burger, Kimberly Harker, Melanie Rivera, and many many more.


Read On...

Local Soldier Comes Home for a Visit.

Troop News


Family couldn't be prouder of soldier

Updated: Friday, 07 Oct 2011, 8:43 PM EDT
Published : Friday, 07 Oct 2011, 8:43 PM EDT

Stef DiPietrantonio
Stef DiPietrantonio
FOX 13 News

LARGO - When Angela Longgood saw her son walking down the gangway dressed in full
camos, she nearly collapsed.

The proud mother from Largo rushed to her son Anthony, who was among the dozens of
soldiers returning home for two weeks. Friday was the 10-year mark of the War in
Afghanistan, a time to remember the many soldiers in the line of duty.

"Oh, I'm so happy," Longgood said tearfully as she and Anthony's father Jeff hugged and
kissed him.

Anthony Cook, 24, has been gone for more than a year in the mountains of Afghanistan,
and his return was an emotional one for loved ones, including fiancée Veronica Vilar.

"I missed you," she told Anthony.

"I was pacing, I was pacing," said his baby brother Jarred. "I was so excited to see him. It's
just me and my brother, so it's my best friend, my brother, my inspiration, my role model."

His father Jeff was beaming from ear to ear.

"It terrifies me, but he's tough," Jeff said proudly. "He's doing what he loves to do, and he's
serving his country, and I'm very proud of him. I just -- words can't say it."

Cook comes from a long line of soldiers in his family. He is an Army Specialist serving in
the Infantry.

He held hands with Miss Vilar all the way down the escalator. She said it’s been tough while
he’s been gone. They try to talk via Skype whenever they can.

"Honestly, we get to talk about 30 minutes,” she said. “They're timed … We Skype every
once and a while unless the generator crashes or they're getting bombed.”

Those times are the toughest.

Cook was in a mountaintop outpost – one of the first lines of defenses for soldiers in
Afghanistan right now.

"This is where it's happening,” Cook said of the outposts. “This is where they'll bring in
weapons. This is where they'll bring in drugs, bring in money, all through here down the
border, so we're here to just make that harder for them.”

They get hit with a lot of indirect fire, mortar and rockets.

"It makes you like a deer during hunting season," he said. "Every little noise you hear,
you're always … listening. It makes you very aware. Oh, we're like mountain goats up
there. We've gotten pretty good at climbing around the mountains.”

Cook said thinking of his family has helped get him through war. There to meet him
at the airport was a stretch Hummer – the perfect way to start vacation.

His mother said she would have gotten a helicopter if she could have.

Cook will get to stay home for two weeks to enjoy some of mom’s cooking, and mom
says he needs it.

He’s lost 20 pounds fighting overseas.

Cook simply said he’s been on a diet.

“On a diet called Afghanistan,” he said.


Our Next Event

Come Join Us in February!
We are holding our
2018 Spring Packing Event!

February 24th

Sea Dog Brewery

9610 Gulf Blvd
Treasure Island, FL

Come help us send a little love this Spring!

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5,854 Boxes!

*since January 2011
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