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Community Commits to Serving Veterans

by Jack Berry

October has been a milestone in our Chapters history with the signing of a "COMMUNITY COVENANT" by our Chapters 1st Vice President, John Snyder, and the Commanders of American Legion Posts 129;316.233; VFW Post 3270; and FRA 290, along with the Mayors of Jacksonville Beach, Neptune Beach and Atlantic Beach. Each of the three Beaches Cities also signed a "PROCLAMATION of support for our military community.

This has been a culmination of our Chapters initiative of briefing our Community, Fraternal and Civic organizations about the important work our Jacksonville Area USO, and particular, the Mayport USO, is doing in supporting our troops both here and abroad. Beginning in late 2007 the USO Committee was re-energized with a request by Commander K. C. McCarthy, USN Retired, Area Director of the three USO Centers in Jacksonville, to assist the Mayport USO Center in providing funds and community support for the newly established, 'No Dough' free dinners arranged for families of our deployed service members. SO Committee members Ed Froehlich, and John Snyder, along with KC, began their briefings culminating in the formation of the Beaches Veterans Association. In collaboration with our chapter, they have provided at least half of the funds needed for two dinners per month with an average of 200 family member at each dinner. Later our Chapter USO Committee established the 'Drinks for Balad' effort to send flavored drink mixes to our fighting troops, which was supported by the BVA, and underwritten by the USO, who purchased, packaged, and mailed over 120 boxes to date.

The 'Community Covenant' signed by the BVA, our Chapter, and the three Beaches Mayors pledged to work closely together in our community' to create and encourage a strong relationship between the community and our military personnel- to educate the public of the value of having service members living in our community'; to develop programs and policies in support of our nation’s veterans, military personnel, and their families; to support , promote, and implement the nationwide efforts of the Armed Forces Covenant Program". Thus, as you can see by the above, our Chapter has been in the forefront of many of these objectives.

We have a chapter to be proud of.

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