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STCOC Military Affairs Council - May 2023 Update

Thank you to those who were able to attend our March and May MAC meetings featuring Major General (Retired) Lawrence Martin Jr and the Tampa Bay Ferries Alliance, and our April Transitioning Military Networking Event – See below for photos!

Our next meeting will be on June 13 featuring Blue Star Families | RSVP HERE
SAVE THE DATE: STCOC Transitioning Military Networking Event –July 13 | RSVP HERE
Contact to sponsor.
REMINDER: You can share your business  and military related news in our two Facebook groups!
STCOC Member Connect and STCOC Military Affairs
You can also post your news and events to the Chamber’s website, which will also be shared in our weekly newsletter. | Click here for instructions.


All month long, museums, theme parks and organizations offer select discounts to military families during National Military Appreciation Month, which dates back to 1999. 
Commemorations and salutes include the annual Military Spouse Appreciation Day May 12, Armed Forces Day May 20, and Memorial Day May 29th.

From the Office of United States Senator Marco Rubio
Earlier this year, the Senator reintroduced seven bills to address military and veterans’ issues. The legislation would prioritize employment and education programs at the VA, install new protections against fraud and abuse for veterans, and safeguard Florida’s Gulf Test Range from development. It would also expand aid to survivors of domestic abuse by service members and ensure homeless veterans get the attention and care they need.
The Senator also filed a bill to have the Navy prioritize donating retired vessels to states to be used as artificial reefs, which better honors the brave sailors who served on these ships than turning them into scrap metal. The Senator is proud of the work he has done in assisting our servicemembers and veterans, including sponsoring and passing the PACT Act and the VA Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act, both of which are in law. You can learn more about the Senator’s work on these issues at or any of his social accounts.
Additionally, our office can provide constituent services for any service member or veteran in need so if you hear from someone who needs help with the VA or any other federal agency, don’t hesitate to contact us at 813-947-6288 or email

Member & Community Events
*** For your events to be included in future MAC newsletters, please send 1-3 sentences ONLY with a web link or email for contact. We are not able to include long descriptions, letters or flyers. Events MUST be military related or benefit local service members. For all other events please use the instructions above to share on the Chamber’s community calendar.

May 18 - The 7th Annual Military Spouse Employment Summit will focus on the progressive impact of work done by public, private, and nonprofit sector partners in communities around the country to delineate the causes and solutions to military spouse employment inequities. – Click here for info

Also at this year's event, Hiring Our Heroes will present the Hiring Our Heroes Impact Awards in recognition of the many accomplishments of businesses, community leaders, and military spouses as they create strong communities that support and provide economic opportunities for military spouses. 
May 20 - The 2023 Carry The Load event that is scheduled for Saturday, May 20, 2023. This event is a Veteran led commemorative walk, where participants walk a designated route around the Veterans Memorial Park in Tampa, and “Carry the Load” - many carry mementos of fallen loved ones as a symbolic gesture of remembrance. About the Event:

May 28 - 26th Annual Memorial Day Remembrance 
In tribute to all who made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation, I invite you, your families, and friends to the county’s 26th annual Memorial Day Observance on Sunday, May 28, 2023 at 10 a.m. at Veterans Memorial Park
In partnership with the Veterans Council of Hillsborough, our ceremony will feature Gold Star Families and other special guests, followed by refreshments and fellowship.  Brigadier General Stephen P. Snelson, Deputy Director of Operations, U.S. Central Command will serve as the keynote speaker. 
Please RSVP by May 22, 2023 at link below (if issues occur, consider copying link into another browser such as Chrome): RSVP 26th Annual Memorial Day Observance
June 22 - Operation Homecoming
Operation Homecoming (Welcome Home Deployment Party) – June 22 @ 4:00-6:30pm
This is a new event to be hosted quarterly at MacDill to welcome home those service members who have deployed over the past few months. The USO is providing hamburgers, hotdogs, chips, cookies/cupcakes, a cotton candy machine and popcorn.
Here is where you can help!
Additional needs are: Welcome Home Banners (professionally printed to be reused), Welcome Home Posters (homemade), drinks (water, soda, possibly beer), Kids activities/crafts. Expecting 200+ attendees. – If you or your business have an interest in participating as an in-kind or cash donor please contact
Tampa Bay Air Fest 2024
MacDill Air Force Base is excited to announce the dates for the 2024 Tampa Bay Air Fest. The 2024 Tampa Bay Air Fest will be held on Friday, March 29 and Saturday, March 30 right here at MacDill Air Force Base. The Air Force’s premiere demonstration team, the Thunderbirds, will be headlining the show.

Please visit MacDill Air Force Base on Facebook and for more information and updates or contact to become a donor. 


March STCOC MAC Meting featuring Major General (Retired) Lawrence Martin Jr

April STCOC Transitioning Military Networking Event

May STCOC MAC Meting featuring the Tampa Bay Ferries Alliance

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