U.S. troops in Afghanistan. (JANGIR)
Plant City, Florida - There's nothing like being home for the holidays, especially if you've been serving overseas.
For nearly a year, 300 men and women in the National Guard from Plant City, Lake Wales, and parts of Pasco County have been in Qatar. Now, they have a chance to come back to the Bay for Christmas. They've been given a four-day leave for December 22nd, but they need helping getting here.
State Representative Dan Raulerson (R) from District 58 has been helping to spearhead the effort along with Rich Glorioso and the American Legion. They are all trying to raise $35,000 by this Thursday.
Organizers say they are halfway there.
An anonymous donor, Publix, and Walgreens have all made donations, but $20,000 is still needed by Thursday.
"Well, imagine yourself at 24 or 25 years old being away from your home for months, being away from loved ones, and imagine the opportunity to just see a familiar surrounding, familiar faces," said Rep. Dan Raulerson.
He added, "They are the ones who put themselves on the line for us, every day for us. So, we're very excited about the possibility of doing this. We need just a little more help, just a little more bit to make a huge difference!"
Indeed, these National Guard troops need your help to make it happen. Two charter buses to carry home 300 men and women isn't cheap. Governor Rick Scott sent out a tweet today, thanking both Publix and Walgreens for donating to the cause, but more money is needed.
"For people who are looking to do something special for the holidays, this is an absolute great opportunity. For 300 kids, 300 kids who are serving our country, to come home and be with family, and help their attitudes and morale, that is a special gift, that people can be proud of participating in," said Rep. Raulerson.
If you want to help, please contact:
American Legion Post 71
Military Fund Account
43 W. Park Ave
Lake Wales, Florida
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