Richard Harris, TAC member
The Troop Appreciation Committee (TAC) is responsible to SOT-AZ and the Board of Directors for a number of veteran and active duty military support efforts. So far this year we have provided grants to deployed military personnel in the form of Packages from Home and Packages for Hope. Both projects received committee approved donations of $500.
We support Pinal County and Arizona veterans projects like the Pinal County Standdown that was held at the fairgrounds in April this year. A host of veteran service organizations including SOT-AZ provided a variety of goods and services to needy veterans and their families. SOT-AZ contributed well over $2,000 and many hours of volunteer effort.
Most recently TAC has assembled and delivered new baby/mommy bags to the Tucson VA Voluntary Service Office at their request. The baby bags contained basic new baby/mommy items to make bringing a new baby home much easier. At the same time we delivered approximately 50 canteen bags that were leftover from Standdown. These bags contained basic needs and hygiene items for adults. Both the baby bags and the canteen bags are given to veterans and family members who come to the VA Voluntary Service office seeking assistance. The bags are assembled by SOT-AZ volunteers here at the Ranch and are provided free of charge by our membership.
At the same time a check was delivered from SOT-AZ for $700 to be used by the Patient Education Resource Center to purchase two computers. Veterans can use these computers to create resumes, search and apply for jobs, check MyHealtheVet, check their school accounts and complete on-line classwork, and set up ebenefits accounts to check the status of a disability claim.
TAC has additional money, which will be appropriated to the Tucson VA Outreach Program when needs are assessed this fall. Additionally a $500 grant has been forwarded to the Fisher House Project at the Tucson VA Hospital. When completed it will provide temporary housing for family members who accompany military personnel who are being treated at the hospital and rehab facilities.
Lastly the TAC has voted to grant approximately $1,000 to the “Honor Flight” program for WWII veterans. Veterans are provided airfare and accommodations during their travels to the WWII Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC. We can nominate a candidate or the Honor Flight organization will send the next in line applicant. These are our mothers, fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers and most are now 85-95 years old or older, and their “Band of Brothers” is dwindling. We will contribute to them observing their country’s homage while we can.
The grants made by TAC for SOT-AZ are made possible by several fundraising projects including the Veterans Day Golf Tournament and raffle each November. SOT-AZ thanks everyone at the Ranch for your continued support both financial and in service. Our military personnel serving around the globe are our country’s and the world’s finest. We salute them and those veterans who have returned from conflict.