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Beaches Veterans Present Funds to the Greater Jacksonville Area USO

by M Reedberry

A No Dough Dinner was held Monday evening, November 23, at which members from American Legion Post 129, 233, 316; Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3270; and Fleet Reserve Association Branch 290 -- all known as the Beaches Veterans Association (BVA) -- presented $1900 to John Anderson, Chairman of the Board, Greater Jacksonville USO. BVA holds monthly cook-outs that rotates between organizations. All proceeds goes to the USO No Dough Dinners.

No Dough Dinners began in the fall of 2007 by the Mayport USO Center, which found many families of lower grade enlisted service members were critically short of funds for groceries immediately prior to payday. With Dad or Mother far away, and the pantries bare, the need for hot meals for these families became apparent. Thus, was borne the No Dough Dinner program, supported by our Beaches Community and other Jacksonville area corporate sponsors. Showing their gratitude for all organizations contributing to these dinners were Mayport Base Commander, Capt. Aaron Bowman; USO Board Chariman John Anderson; and Greater Jacksonville Area USO Executive Director, Cmdr John Shockley, USN Ret.

MOAA and BVA also donated $500 for ’Drinks for the Troops,’ which the USO uses to buy and mail individual packets of flavored powdered drinks that troops can add to their hot, tasteless water while on patrol. The USO also purchased and sent along personal items, such as tooth paste, sun screen, lip balm, wipes, etc. 

In response to the care packages, Chaplain Daniel Middllebrook, Task Force 10 CSH, Bagdad, Iraq, sent this note of gratitude: “Thank you for the wonderful supplies and this incredible Bunch of goodies. They were given out quickly and there were a lot of smiles. Thank you for this wonderful gift.”

Individuals or organizations that wish to contribute funds or in-kind articles, can call (904) 246-3481 for further information. All donated items go directly to our front line troops, including the three Blount Island USMC Forward Operating Units, two hospitals, and USO Centers throughout Iraq and Afghanistan.

Click here to read more Veterans and Military Families stories.

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