Ribbon Cutting Commemorates Tallahassee Soldier's Home Addition
A ribbon-cutting ceremony commemorating the home addition of Tallahassee soldier Michael Plaster and his family took place May 28, 2004. The addition was made possible through the chapter’s “Do the Right Thing” initiative and was a team effort with assistance from the AUSA Big Bend Chapter, the HOOAH Family Support Group, soldiers from A company, Tallahassee Habitat for Humanity providing workers and worked with Home Depot to donate the building materials, Home Depot donated approximately $5,000 worth of materials and General Dynamics adopted the family and provided workers and equipment during the construction. The Capital Area Chapter of the American Red Cross provided medical support as well as refreshments and lunches for the workers. Congressman Allen Boyd (D-FL) and Leon County Commissioner Tony Grippa, serve as co-chairs of “Do the Right Thing.”
“Do the Right Thing” Initiative Helps Send Vet to WWII Dedication
The AUSA “Do the Right Thing” initiative also helped local WWII veteran, Mr. Duane Simon, attend the dedication of the WWII Memorial in Washington D.C. on May 29. Simon was involved in 31 combat missions as a gunner on a B-17. Simon wanted to attend the event but could not afford the air fare and hotel. Airtran Airlines donated two round trip tickets for Mr. and Mrs. Simon. Special thanks go to Florida Democratic Party Chairman Scott Maddox who worked with Mr. Tad Hutchinson of Airtran to secure the tickets. AUSA national headquarters secured and paid for the hotel accommodations.
Big Bend Chapter & Community Go All Out for Army Family
Big Ben Chapter worked with General Dynamics, Habitat for Humanity, HOOAH Family Support Group, “Old Guard,” American Red Cross, and the Leon County Commission to help the family of a mobilized soldier purchase and upgrade a home.
The project began with General Dynamics, who as a part of our “Do the Right Thing” had adopted the wife and four children of a Florida National Guard member serving in Iraq. In trying to purchase a home, the family needed to convert the porch into a livable space to qualify for a loan.
Habitat embraced the idea immediately and assisted by offering supplies they had on hand and worked with Home Depot to get them to donate supplies. Altogether more than $6,000 worth of supplies was donated. Work and support crews were assembled from volunteers at General Dynamics, Habitat for Humanity, HOOAH Family Support Group, “Old Guard,” American Red Cross, and Leon County Commission. Out of this discussion, came an offer from Habitat to work with Big Bend Chapter to establish a program to build Habitat houses for military families.
Chapter Helps Create Tax Abatement Measure for Deployed Soldiers
Developed and worked with the Leon County Commission on a measure to provide tax abatement for Soldiers mobilized for a named conflict. For Soldiers who do not own property in the county, the Commission approved providing $600 prorated on an annual basis. Leon County issued a resolution honoring Big Bend Chapter for its work to bring this measure about.