PINELLAS PARK, FLA. - State Senators Charlie Justice (D, Dist .16) and Mike Fasano (R, Dist. 11) joined other political and community leaders from the Tampa, St. Petersburg area, to thank area soldiers and their families, pledging continued support to them by signing the Army Community Covenant.

The Army Community Covenant initiative is designed to foster and sustain effective partnerships amongst the community and military members, to improve the quality of life for soldiers and their families.

Saturday's signing took place at the Westin Tampa Harbour Island Hotel, where the Army Reserve Medical Command was holding a commanders training workshop. Over 300 Army Reserve soldiers, their families, and local veterans attended the signing.

The Covenant ceremony was specifically tailored for the Tampa area. It brought together key regional leaders, from state, local and civic levels. Leaders signing the covenant are vowing to continue supporting the military community in the future. Together, they are publically recognizing the importance of Army Reserve Soldiers and their families, and the vital role they play in our nation's defense.

According to Maj. William Ritter, Public Affairs Officer for the Army Reserve Medical Command, the signing, while symbolic, is a morale booster for the troops.

"The soldiers in attendance today see state and local leaders who support them. It's inspiring for them. They now know who they can talk to if they need to pursue different avenues for assistance," he said. "The more support they have at home, the less worries they will have overseas."

Justice and Fasano were joined by Mike O'Meara, President, Veterans Liaison Council of Pinellas Park; Dianne Magee, Florida State President, Associates of Vietnam Veterans of America; Nick Brickfield, Pinellas County Commissioner; Jane Harper, President and CEO of Family Resources, Inc.; Chuck Jenkins, business leader and veteran and Dan Pash, staff representation for Congressman Gus Bilirakis.

The Army Community Covenant program was initiated by the Department of Defense in 2008. Since then, over 100 American communities, including Tampa/ St. Petersburg, have hosted "Community Covenant Signing Ceremonies" to demonstrate their support for our nation's military and their families.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16