events1Local Grandmother Receives Community Support For Our Troops
By Jennifer Gibbs Transue
“Support the Troops:” To some of us, this is just a slogan we see and hear quite often, but one grandmother living in the Brandon area has discovered its true meaning.Natalie Transue, 71, is a retired teacher’s assistant, having worked for Hillsborough County schools for more than 17 years. No stranger to military life, she enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1956, where she met and married her late husband, Jim. He served in the Korean and Vietnam wars, earning a silver star, two purple hearts and two bronze medals. Transue has a son and grandson currently serving in the U.S. Army. Her son, Mark, has almost 20 years of service and will soon be deployed to Iraq. Her grandson, Josh, who is only 20, is currently doing his first tour in Afghanistan. Says Transue, “Having both a son and grandson being deployed at the same time prompted me to get more involved with helping all of our troops.”Transue came across an organization called Our Troops Online run by Bob Williams. Located in Wesley Chapel, Williams’ organization  sends much needed “care packages” to our troops deployed to the Middle East, primarily Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait and Kyrgyzstan. These packages can contain anything from coffee, snacks, cookies, candy, toiletries, DVDs and much more.  “Although the troops have some necessities, they are limited,” Transue says.  Transue started volunteering her time up at Our Troops Online, but wanted to do more to help. She started asking local schools in the community to help. A few local schools already involved are Brooker, Gibsonton, Palm River and Riverview Elementary. She plans to visit all of the local schools and churches to get them on board. Many companies, such as Starbucks, Sam’s Club and Sweetbay, have donated, too. Transue is a determined grandmother who does not plan to stop there. She knows our community is generous and will come together for this great service. After all, this is a reminder of what America stands for.To make a donation, call Natalie at 621-2104 or 663-0106. For more information on Our Troops Online, visit

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