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Team MacDill covers all the angles

Senior Master Sgt. Mark C. Long
Military Personnel Flight Superintendent

When Hurricane Katrina hit, Team MacDill members felt an array of emotions. Not only did the storm hit one of our biggest training bases, it hit home personally for many folks who had family and friends in the region. Helpless feelings ran rampant as we watched CNN report the devastation.

It seemed like all we could do is sit and watch as peopleís lives were crushed. But we all know Team MacDill is not about standing on the sidelines watching the action, but rather an action oriented team making a huge difference across our community, nation and world.

While the storm hit with a devastating blow, it wasnít long before many Team MacDill members deployed in support of the relief efforts. MacDill also opened up its gates and resources to many displaced evacuees. 6th Comptroller Squadron, 6th Medical Group, the Family Support Center, Services, the Military Personnel Flight and many more willingly provided outstanding support.

Many of the evacuees and family members continue to receive guidance and support. Most of us were not directly tasked in support of the disaster, but ask anyone and they will tell you there was a willing and helpful spirit and sense of calm as Team MacDill joined relief efforts.

And in the shadows, let me tell you first hand how many Team MacDill members directly supported the cause. Countless, and I repeat countless. MacDill members supported the cause by donating clothes to those left with nothing. What started as a simple e-mail requesting clothing donations, quickly turned into a massive clothing drive as Team MacDill joined forces with the local Salvation Army.

At last count, 13 vehicles, jammed-packed with clothes, off-loaded during lunch breaks to the Salvation Army. The Salvation Army then loaded our donations into trucks destined for the disaster areas. And yes, the beat goes on as we continue the drive as the Salvation Army plans to deliver more trucks to disaster areas.

If you would like to contribute to the clothing drive, please contact the Military Personnel Flight at 828-2468 or 828-3311. Clothes may be dropped off in room 202, on the second floor of Bldg 373 (MPF), Monday to Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

As long as the need continues to exist and Col. Maggie Woodward, 6th Air Mobility Wing commander, allows us to continue the drive, we will keep clothing the needy. After the trucks stop flowing to the disaster region, we just might shift gears to gather clothes for the local homeless and needyÖ.stay tuned.

I want to personally thank everyone who contributed to the drive and thanks in advance to those who will contribute in the future. A special thanks goes to the many loaders and drivers who continue to oil the machine.

Please note there are no names listed here for a good reason. The hurricane efforts are not about individuals and their good deeds, itís about Team MacDill rising together once again to meet the needs of this great nation and world. Thus Team MacDill is truly synergy defined: combined action or operation where the teamwork of many produces far greater results than the efforts of one.

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