Today, Governor Rick Scott issued a challenge to major Florida retailers to help raise $35,000 to support troops returning from Afghanistan. On Christmas Eve, the 3rd Artillery Battalion of the Florida National Guard is bringing close to 300 Florida soldiers home from Afghanistan. These troops will be flown into Camp Shelby, Mississippi, and 178 soldiers are hoping to get home to Florida to be with their families for Christmas. Most of the soldiers will be taken to the Plant City area.
Governor Scott said, “This is a great opportunity to support our men and women of the military who make sacrifices each day. These heroes would love to enjoy Christmas with their loved ones before they get demobilized. Publix was the first major retailer to step up with a $5,000 donation to the National Guard Foundation, followed by an announcement from Walgreens that they would contribute another $5,000. We need $25,000 more to help these solders spend Christmas with their loved ones.”
After Christmas, these troops will be taken back to Camp Shelby to complete their final demobilization interview process, as required by the Department of Defense for all returning soldiers. The complete round-trip cost for the 178 soldiers is $34,690 to get them to Florida to be with their families for Christmas.
For more information, please contact the Florida National Guard at http://www.floridaguard.army.mil/