Updated: Mar 26, 2019
By Mitch Budzon/ Mark Rhodes:
Beginning March 21 through the 22, 2019, there was an "Operation Helping Hands"event at Publix, in the Grand Traverse Plaza near Brownwood, in The Villages, Florida. Operation Helping Hands has been an ongoing, "Veterans Helping Veterans," fund raiser for the Col. Phillip C. DeLong, Detachment 1267 of the Marine Corps League (MCL), project for years. Operation Helping Hands provides assistance to severally wounded and injured "Polytrauma" patients, undergoing treatment at the James A. Haley Veterans Hospital in Tampa, Florida. Patients are Active Duty or Veterans, with debilitating wounds. These can including blast injuries, amputations, burns, blindness, brain and spinal cord and injuries sometimes referred to as "Polytraumas". The local MCL Detachment 1267 has raised an average of $7000 annually throughout the years. Those funds have helped family members and their children, assisting with housing and transportation costs, to be with their loved ones during their time of need. Of all funds raised, for Operation Helping Hands, only 4% is used for administrative purposes. Meaning 96% goes back to the veterans, service members and their families.
To show unity of support for those injured, and their families, many members of the local MCL Detachment 1267 "stood the watch," volunteering their time for this event.
Beside the Leagues’ fund-raising efforts, members of MCL Detachment 1267, attend special dinning events with the wounded and their family members. This occurs at the James A. Haley Veterans Hospital in Tampa Florida, on the third Thursday evening of each month. It is incredible the love and outpouring of compassion from the local MCL, Detachment 1267, displays for the veteran community, and the needs of their families.