Sunday, December 21, 2008

Supporting Our Wounded Troops in Tampa, Florida: Please Help If You Can

I asked Shelly Vail, who is part of the support group for Haley House (see my previous post), to write a guest post about the Troop Support Alliance and also a wish list for Haley House besides the much-needed monetary donations. Above is a photo from Friday flag wave and below is the first of two parts of Shelly's guest post.

The Troop Support Alliance is an umbrella name used by a bunch of small grassroots groups here in Tampa Bay who do troop support. We also do the Friday flag waves as the Troop Support Alliance as well. We also help support each other's projects and we all support Haley House and the Haley VA in as many ways as we can on top of our niche areas.

My group is called Operation Gamer2Gamer and was started back in 2002 while I was working for Microsoft as a retail field rep. It was a way for the gamer guys here to help support their military gamer family serving overseas.

I was adopted by a game clan called Xtreme Eagles who continue to help me out with troop support even during my extended time as a wounded warrior – and

We used the video games as moral support at first to help the guys over in combat to relax during off duty hours. Then through Mary Ellen Harlan and Haley House we were able to expand to help with the recreational therapy crew over at the Haley VA Hospital. So since 2004 we have been using the video games as extended physical therapy with some really amazing results.

These are some of the other small grassroots groups that are part of Troop Support Alliance:

Operation Warm Heart – This group raises funds that are given 100% to the needy junior enlisted troops at MacDill AFB. The fund is controlled by the First Sergeants Council at MacDill and is used for those in dire financial need through no fault of their own. Any donation you give is put to good use and is greatly appreciated –

CENTCOM Memorial – This group is based out of MacDill AFB in Tampa, Florida. It has taken five years but the group has finally gotten its petition through Congress and approved for the memorial. This memorial will be built and maintained at the base to remember all our troops who have paid the ultimate price for freedom –

Banana Bread for the Troops – This family group actually makes and bakes a special high potassium banana bread that is frozen and shipped over to the troops. Barbara and Al Davis even have the recipe posted for you to try yourself. They recently moved back up to Indiana to live near family but continue to bake for the troops –

Stay tuned for my next post with Shelly's wish list for Haley House families and for the wounded troops at the Haley VA Hospital.

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