2006 — I was trying to explain to my son what Veteran’s Day was all about. I was trying to explain in my best 3-year old levels about all the flags and why we flew ours on that day as well as many others. Carter finally blurted out that it was to tell the good guys thank you….right? Well, who could argue with that? He obviously got it and understood. Then he surprised me with his next suggestion. He wanted to send his hot wheels cars to the troops because they were the good guys. (still gets me even typing that…)
So my wife Rhonda and I started looking at a way to send something to some troops someplace. That same weekend, my daughter came to me wanting to come up with a community project for school. Upon hearing of our pending troop package, she suggested we make up Christmas stockings to send. Rhonda discovered a website called AnySoldier.com and so began our little endeavor. Our first send out was Christmas packages, we chose a unit and made up boxes to send out. A month later, we received some emails and letters from Soldiers about how much they enjoyed the packages. From then on, a few times a year, our family would choose a unit from AnySoldier.com and send a package out and a letter from us wishing them well.
As we shared this with friends, donations for our next shipment started showing up here and there. Then, with the help of Facebook and some great old Seminole High School friends and alumni from many different years, the Seminole Alumni Troop Support was born. Since then, we have grown into a great group of people supporting a greater cause. We are no longer just a few Seminole High School friends getting together. Our members are from all over the place now – and still growing. As of today, we have over 500 members and have now changed our name to Tampa bay Troop Support and are finalizing our 501c3 status to increase our ability to reach even more soldiers with more packages. We have a PayPal donation account. And we now have our own website – which is being updated soon to reflect the new growth we have experienced.
To date, we have shipped thousands of packages overseas, and have reached troops as far out on the edge as it can get.
We are doing a great thing for our True American Heroes.