Military and Tampa Sign Covenant

U.S. Coast Guard Capt. Timothy Close signs the Tampa Military Covenant
U.S. Coast Guard Capt. Timothy Close signs the Tampa Military Covenant
TAMPA -

(2009-11-10) Near the site of Tampa’s first military post, Ft. Brooke, a covenant was signed cementing the partnership between the City of Tampa and military leaders from MacDill Air Force Base and the Coast Guard.

The covenant is mostly ceremonial. It reaffirms the longstanding relationship between MacDill Air Force Base and the Tampa Bay community.

Col. Larry Martin leads with MacDill’s 6th Air Mobility Wing. He says community support is shown in formal ways like veterans day parades but also in simple acts like when people who lined Bayshore Blvd. to pay respect to the family of Army Pfc. Eric Lembke as his hearse passed. Lembke was killed last month by an IED while serving in Afghanistan.

“Folks, there was no formal announced no one was dragged out of their office to do that,” Col. Martin said. “Folks in the Tampa Bay area just understand and they’re there to cover our backs and that’s really why we’re here today to thank you for that.”

Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio said those who serve can’t be thanked enough by the community.

“I want every military family to know that we do care, that we appreciate your sacrifice,” Iorio said.

When folks talk about MacDill Air Force Base, it’s often about MacDill’s economic contribution to the community. But, Iorio sees a much broader picture.

“The military is made up of people, families, people who are sacrificing,” Iorio said.

The mayor and nine military representatives signed the official covenant. One was Maj. Huss Siddiqui representing military families.

His wife, Frauke Siddiqui, said community support can be something as simple as having a conversation with someone whose spouse is deployed. She cared for their five children when the major was deployed for 130 days.

Tampa is one of more than 100 communities that have signed military covenants.

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