Tampa Bay Troop Support News Troop News Local Soldier Comes Home for a Visit.
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February 24th, 2018
Spring Packing Event

More arrived over the last two weeks, and more boxes were packed, and now 125 BOXES WILL BE SHIPPED OUT!! THIS SETS A NEW RECORD FOR THE HIGHEST NUMBER OF BOXES EVER SHIPPED IN A FEBRUARY EVENT!! WELL DONE TEAM!!

Our Spring Packing Event was hosted this year by Sea Dog Brewery, a new and fantastic restaurant located on the south end of beautiful Treasure Island, Florida. For those that were in attendance, you can vouch for the awesome location and even more so for the food and drink upstairs. In case the manager staff looked familiar, you were not mistaken. Charlie and Victor were the managers at WingHouse back at our 10th anniversary event. When they got the new Sea Dog restaurant opened, Charlie reached out and said they wanted to hold an even there. And boy did they ever! The weather was wonderful, the crowd was incredible, and the event went smoothly and very successfully. A huge thank you to Charlie and Victor and the crew at Sea Dog Brewery! We will definitely be back!

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 and dozens of volunteers coming in to bring goods and help us pack the boxes. A big thank you to the Ladies Auxiliary for collecting donations and coming out to help, and to the Blue Star Moms who also gave us lots of goods and dontations, and came to help pack the boxes. 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, Largo Area Historical Society, Blue Star Moms, Warner Brothers Marketing, Frankies Patriot BBQ, Michael Jurnigan, 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 May!
We are holding our
2018 Summer Packing Event!

May 5th, 2018

American Legion Post 273

600 American Legion Drive, Madeira Beach FL 33708

(727) 398-5680

Come help us send a little love this Summer!

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