Breaking Tampa Bay, Florida and national news and weather from Tampa Bay Online and The Tampa Tribune | TBO.com
  • Home

Groundbreaking on Home For Wounded Vet Saturday In Tampa

Posted Jan 2, 2013 by Howard Altman

Updated Jan 2, 2013 at 11:07 AM

An Army Staff Sgt. severely wounded in Afghanistan will become the latest injured service member to have a home built for him in the area.

Homes for Our Troops, a national non-profit organization dedicated to building specially adapted homes for severely injured veterans, will hold a public groundbreaking ceremony in Tampa on Saturday, Jan. 5, to begin construction of a home for Army Staff Sergeant Alex Dillmann.

The home will be built at 10516 Cory Lake Dr., Tampa.

According to a press release:

The ceremony will begin at 10 a.m., signifying the official start of this project, resulting in a new, specially adapted home designed to accommodate the severe injuries Dillmann sustained while serving his country. The home will provide Dillmann with maximum freedom of movement and the ability to live more independently.

Dillmann was on his second deployment when an IED blast left him paralyzed with catastrophic injuries while in the Province of Ghazni, Afghanistan on February 27, 2011.

“Thank you for supporting Homes for Our Troops. I am grateful to all who are supporting our injured service members and their families…this home will not only allow me to be more independent, it will enable me and my wife to continue to rebuild a successful and productive life together.”

For more information on how you can get involved, visit www.homesforourtroops.org/alexdillmann




Pentagon Announces Deaths of 3 U.S. Troops in Past 8 Days

Posted Dec 31, 2012 by Howard Altman

Updated Jan 5, 2013 at 03:22 PM

The Pentagon announced the deaths of three U.S. troops in the past eight days.

Pfc. Markie T. Sims, 20, of Citra, Fla., died Dec. 29 in Panjwal, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device.  He was assigned to the 38th Engineer Company, 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, under control of the 7th Infantry Division, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.

Sgt. Enrique Mondragon, 23, of The Colony, Texas, died Dec. 24, in Baraki Barak, Afghanistan, from injuries sustained when his unit was attacked by small arms fire while on dismounted patrol.  He was assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 173rd Special Troops Battalion, 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, Bamberg, Germany.

Cdr. Job W. Price, 42, of Pottstown, Pa., died Dec. 22 of a non-combat related injury while supporting stability operations in Uruzgan Province, Afghanistan.  Price was assigned to an East Coast-based Naval Special Warfare unit in Virginia Beach, Va. This incident is currently under investigation.
There have now been 2,158 U.S. troop deaths in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, the nation’s longest war.




DOD Announces 1 Troop Death This Week

Posted Dec 22, 2012 by Howard Altman

Updated Dec 22, 2012 at 04:21 PM

The Department of Defense announced the death of one soldier last week.

Sgt. 1st Class Kevin E. Lipari, 39, of Baldwin, N.Y., died Dec. 14 in Logar province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to HHC 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, Bamberg, Germany. This incident is under investigation.

There have now been 2,155 U.S. troop deaths in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, the nation’s longest war.




Bucs’ Jackson Creates Fund For Military Kids, Kicks Off First Event Tonight At MacDinton’s

Posted Dec 18, 2012 by Howard Altman

Updated Dec 18, 2012 at 02:30 PM

Vincent Jackson makes big contributions to the Bucs on the field, but he is trying to have an even bigger impact off the field.

Jackson, a wide receiver, has formed the Jackson in Action 83 Foundation, dedicated to “helping children stay connected with parents or loved ones serving in the military,” according to the newly formed organization.

The Foundation’s first event, which will be attended by Jackson, will take place from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. tonight at MacDinton’s Irish Pub & Restaurant located at 405 South Howard Avenue in Tampa.

According to a release:

Though the event is free to the public, a $15 donation is suggested and will afford guests two complimentary drinks, courtesy of sponsors Stoli and Sierra Nevada. Proceeds will assist Jackson in Action in providing military families at MacDill Air Force Base the best tools (books, computer programs aps, tapes, games, comics or videos) to enable communication and bonding between deployed parents and their children and to keep the families back home in good educational, emotional and physical health while their loved one is away.

“I am looking forward to a great night and really making a difference in the lives of military families right here in Tampa Bay,” said Jackson. “I am thankful for the support Jackson in Action has received from MacDinton’s and grateful to have been provided one of the best venues in the area for this event.”

“At MacDinton’s we are always looking for ways to give back, especially to those who are serving our country,” said Chris Sweeney, General Manager of MacDinton’s. “We are proud to partner with Vincent Jackson for this event and extend an invite to our loyal and generous customers. I am looking forward to a great night and future involvement with Jackson in Action.”

“The three pillars of the Foundation are 1) educational, 2) mental / emotional and 3) and physical health for the military families back home,” says Gregg Williams, Director of Jackson in Action. “When a parent is deployed, kids school grades often decline and social issues emerge. Jackson in Action is here to keep military families intact and healthy.”

About MacDinton’s Irish Pub & Restaurant
MacDinton’s is located in South Tampa, and now downtown St. Petersburg. Since 2002, MacDinton’s Irish Pub has been serving the over-21 crowd and offers live music, using a mixture of bands and solo acts. Food is “traditional Irish fare with a twist.” MacDinton’s is also Tampa’s exclusive spot for The Six Nation’s Rugby, FA Cup, EPL and Champions League soccer. For more information, visit: www.macdintons.com

About Jackson in Action 83 Foundation, Inc.
The mission of the Jackson in Action 83 Foundation, Inc., is to help United States servicemen and servicewomen stay connected with the children during their deployments away from home and raise community awareness of the relational issues existing between deployed United States service members and their children. Formed in November of 2012, the Jackson in Action 83 Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. For more information, call (718) 791-5727 or visit: (jacksoninaction83.org).




Combat Wounded Afghan Vet To Get New Home In Tampa

Posted Dec 18, 2012 by Howard Altman

Updated Dec 18, 2012 at 08:02 AM

After losing both of his legs in Afghanistan, SPC Charlie Lemon came home and received months of rehabilitation.  Later this morning, he will receive the keys to his new home as part of Operation FINALLY HOME.

Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor will be the keynote speaker at a 10 a.m. ceremony at the new home, 1922 W. Gray St. 

According to TPD:

Operation FINALLY HOME partners with corporate sponsors, builder associations, builders, developers, individual contributors, and volunteers to help severely wounded heroes and their families’ transition from the battlefront to the home front.

Lemon’s new home was built by Sunstone Construction. Sunstone Construction, a veteran owned business, has launched a “Planet Forward” concept for Green building in partnership with GE Eco-magination. Sunstone’s offerings range from a LEED platinum certifiable to affordable “Net Zero” achievable homes throughout the Tampa Bay region. They utilize Gramatica’s Structural Insulated Panels (SIP’s) along with other energy efficient products. In all models, the base level comes standard with the infrastructure to accommodate upgrades based on consumer demand and affordability.
The base level is ENERGY STAR rated and FGBC Green certified which allows homeowners an average savings of around $1,000 on their spending towards a “net zero” energy utility when compared to a normal home of its size. Sunstone’s greenest offering includes solar panels with optional battery backup, cistern and several other available components.

About Operation FINALLY HOME:

Operation FINALLY HOME is a nationwide organization that was established in 2005 as a non-partisan/non-profit 501(c)(3). Operation FINALLY HOME’S mission
is to provide custom made mortgage free homes to wounded and disabled veterans and the widows of the fallen in an effort to get their lives back on track and become productive members of their communities.

About Community Partners in Revitalization:

Community Partners in Revitalization (CPR) is a veteran-founded organization.

The mission for CPR was developed in an effort to improve the quality of life by providing healthy, energy efficient homes for low to moderate income
individuals, families and veterans. These strategically placed new homes in the Tampa Bay area have been effective in reducing blight through neighborhood stabilization and positive economic impact.
As CPR is a qualified licensed general contractor #CBC-1259080, they have an ability to maintain cost
controls to ensure the community receives the maximum benefit of efforts, donations and funds made available by use of efficient designs provided by
Sunstone Construction. To learn more, please visit www.cpr501c3.com.

About Gramatica SIPS International:

Founded in 2009, Gramatica SIPS International provides a full line of services involving Structural Insulated Panel Systems, also known as SIPS. Structural
Insulated Panels are an environmentally friendly building product that provide greater levels of insulation and show tremendous strength in extreme loading conditions, such as hurricanes, earthquakes, and other hazardous weather.

Gramatica SIPS International has relocated their manufacturing facility from Sarasota to East Tampa. They have also recently established the Gramatica
Family Foundation; a non-profit whose mission is to provide energy efficient housing initiatives and development assistance to disabled military veterans,
the underprivileged and the ailing.

For more information about Sunstone Construction, CPR or others visit their website at www.sunstonehomesfl.com, www.CPR501c3.com or contact Brian K. Lamb at blamb@merituscorp.com, 813.873.7300