NUSQN 725 provides community support to deployed US military personnel

Published on LS Chris Hodgkinson (author and photographer)

Location(s): Jacksonville, FL, USA

Topic(s): 725 Squadron, Community Engagement

(Left to right) Leading Seaman Aircrew (LSA) Eammon O'Brien, LSA Chris Hodgkinson, Able Seaman Mark Goodwin and LS Scott Roper lend a hand boxing care packages destined for deployed US military troops, in Jacksonville, USA.

 (photo: LSA Chris Hodgkinson)
(Left to right) Leading Seaman Aircrew (LSA) Eammon O'Brien, LSA Chris Hodgkinson, Able Seaman Mark Goodwin and LS Scott Roper lend a hand boxing care packages destined for deployed US military troops, in Jacksonville, USA.

More than 7500 US military men and women serving overseas will be receiving a care package thanks to the efforts of several hundred Jacksonville and five members from the Royal Australian Navy’s New Squadron 725 (NUSQN 275), currently deployed to the USA for accelerated training on the Navy’s new maritime combat helicopter - the MH-60R.

On Thursday 11 July, members from NUSQN 725, (CMDR DL Frost) assisted with the collation of care packages destined for deployed US military troops, in support of the 19th annual event of the ‘Toast to the Troops Box Stuffing Party.’

The NUSQN 725 members who volunteered their time gained a lot from the experience, established lasting friendships with their Florida neighbours and were able experience the intense pride and appreciation that the US public holds for their military men and women. 

Lieutenant Cerys Joyce, an Aeronautical Engineering Officer posted with NUSQN 725 greatly enjoyed the experience. “This event was a fantastic opportunity for Australians to join with members of the American military, public, and US veterans in showing our appreciation for the efforts of those serving overseas.”  

The care packages contained toiletries, snacks, reading material, a prepaid international calling card and a ‘toast card’ with a personal message to soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines who are serving on the front lines.

United Service Organization (USO) hosted the event at The Jacksonville Landing. The event featured a concert afterwards headlining Craig Morgan, a country musician and fellow veteran who has proudly played the event since 2005.  

“Our nation’s service members, and their families sacrifice so much for us on a daily basis and I hope everyone will come out and join us for what promises to be a great day to honour and support these heroes,” said Craig Morgan.

Leading Seaman Scott Roper and Lieutenant Cerys Joyce lend a hand boxing care packages destined for deployed US military troops, in Jacksonville, USA.

Leading Seaman Scott Roper and Lieutenant Cerys Joyce lend a hand boxing care packages destined for deployed US military troops, in Jacksonville, USA.