By Amanda Dolan
One of the most selfless and impactful organizations is tucked quietly off a side street in Brooksville. The Marine Corps League Detachment #708 sits right off Sunshine Grove Road in Brooksville, alongside its sister bar and grill, The Command Post.
These two buildings are home to American Heroes—United States Marine veterans who meet every day with a common goal: provide a level of support to each other that only fellow veterans can understand.
The type of brotherhood that exists in these buildings is truly remarkable. What’s even more impressive is their dedication to not only being there for each other but for their community as well. I assume it’s a combination of its discrete location and the humility of MCL 708’s members that many people in our community are unaware of the true impact these honorable men and women have on our county, but it’s time to spread the word about their ongoing efforts to help others and show the impact they have on our community.
Here are five ways the Marine Corps League #708 is giving back to Hernando County.
They provide scholarships to local high school students.
MCL 708 awards scholarships to Hernando County graduating seniors. Every year, students are encouraged to apply for a minimum scholarship of $500 that is sent directly to the student’s educational institutions when fall enrollment is verified.
For more information about scholarship qualifications or to apply, visit the Hernando County Schools District website.
They assist underprivileged or disabled veterans with housing support and food assistance.
In true brotherly fashion, MCL 708 assists fellow veterans who have fallen on hard times, those in assisted living facilities, or those who have become homeless. They provide everything from financial aid for mortgages, rent, and utilities to veterans who are currently struggling, all the way to food, furniture, and necessary household items.
They host affordable family events for the community.
The community events hosted by the MCL provide low-cost entertainment, keeping children at the forefront of almost every family event they plan. Children especially enjoy holiday happenings, including a massive 4th of July bash, their famous Halloween Trail (a “spooky” walk through the wooded area, which is currently undergoing some exciting new additions for this upcoming year), and The Christmas Trail, where families are welcome to stroll through a winter wonderland.
Every year, they also collect unwrapped toys for Toys for Tots to distribute to underprivileged kids in Hernando County during the holiday season.
The Marine Corps League believes in providing memories for children and families. For a full calendar of their events, visit their Facebook page.
They volunteer their Color Guard and Honor Guard services.
The MCL Honor Guard has appeared at thousands of funerals for fallen comrades-in-arm. Their presence and performances at memorial services bring comfort and pride to military families. They travel, sometimes multiple times a week, to the Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell, Florida, to provide proper send-offs to fallen military brothers and veterans. MCL #708 veterans understand the emotional impact military families experience during these services, and they consider it an honor each and every time they’re called to attend.
They sponsor veterans at home health facilities and provide transportation.
Some veterans reside in assisted living facilities and senior living communities where they might struggle with loneliness, PTSD, and other emotional, financial, or physical issues. They believe that no defender of our great nation should be without transportation to the VA, doctor’s appointments, or even a ride up to The Command Post for a little socialization. Giving rides to those who don’t have a vehicle of their own or are unable to drive due to physical disabilities allows veterans to experience the quality of life they deserve.
How You Can Get Involved
These are only some of the ways the Marine Corps League #708 gives back. There are endless stories about the true impact these veterans have on our community and many times, they do it without public recognition.
What’s even more impressive is that The Marine Corps League #708 and The Guardian Foundation thrive solely off of the generosity of financial donors and proceeds from restaurant sales at The Command Post. Donations keep this organization alive and allow them to create new ways to give back to the community.
Along with the Marine Corps League, the Guardian Foundation is a 501(c)(3) dedicated to raising funds for our veterans to continue serving our community with projects, events, and financial assistance. For more information, contact [email protected]
Monetary donations are always welcome and greatly appreciated. You can bring donations directly to the Marine Corps League, located at 8405 Sunshine Grove Rd. in Brooksville. For more information, call (352) 597-7979.