Volunteers preparing for landscaping at Veterans Memorial Park & Rear Admiral LeRoy Collins, Jr. Veterans Museum on Pearl Harbor Day, December 7.

In a salute to Veterans, volunteers from The Home Depot Foundation gathered in remembrance of Pearl Harbor Day with a beautification event December 7 at Veterans Memorial Park & Rear Admiral LeRoy Collins, Jr. Veterans Museum, located at 3602 U.S. 301 N. in Tampa.

The volunteer force, known as Team Depot, marked the 82nd anniversary of the attack on U.S. forces at Pearl Harbor with a project honoring fallen heroes and military veterans. Armed with rakes, shovels and sweat equity, 90 associates from The Home Depot stores across the Tampa Bay region lined up at Veterans Memorial Park and the Veterans Resource Center to re-mulch and spruce up high-traffic areas. The Home Depot Foundation is donating the time and materials for the park improvement project.

In addition, five local World War II veterans attended the event to recognize the volunteers.

“It’s an important part of what America is all about to understand that lots of people have given up their time, effort, and so forth to, first of all, recreate and then keep it running,” said U.S. Army WWII veteran Lloyd Gerable about the park and its volunteers.

The Home Depot Foundation, the nonprofit arm of The Home Depot, works to improve the lives of U.S. veterans, support communities impacted by natural disasters and train skilled tradespeople.

“These are folks who are here on their time off and giving back to a community in which they live and work in, so they love making impacts and giving back. It’s just ingrained in us,” said Jennifer Taylor, Home Depot store manager.

Hillsborough County is home to the largest veteran population in Florida out of all 67 counties. Hillsborough County Consumer & Veterans Services provides free, accredited assistance to the county’s veterans and their survivors seeking access to earned VA benefits and programs.

“We just want to let them know that they’re not alone during this season, or any season throughout the year,” said Frank Strom, director of Consumer and Veteran Services. “Services are always and readily available, and if anything, it’s just a place for them to come and reflect on their time and service, and the traditions and the history of what our nation stands for.”

Veterans Memorial Park & Rear Admiral LeRoy Collins, Jr. Veterans Museum is home to more than 14 war memorials and tranquil green space along the scenic Tampa Bypass Canal. Free and open daily, the park’s hours are 7 a.m.-5 p.m. The museum’s hours are 10 a.m.-3 p.m. 

For more information about VA benefits assistance or Veterans Memorial Park, visit www.hcflgov.net/veterans or call 813-635-8316.

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