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Tampa Bay area groups send support and love to troops still in Afghanistan

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Posted at 4:12 PM, Aug 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-31 15:00:38-04

TAMPA, Fla. — At Skippers Smokehouse in Tampa, they say giving up a table seemed like the least they could do for the 13 US service members killed last week in Afghanistan.

Ferg’s in St. Petersburg reserved a table for them, too, saying their sacrifice won’t be forgotten. And in the Starkey Ranch community in Pasco County, a group of children made cards and sold ice cream to support a neighbor in the Air Force.

“When we found out that one of our neighbors was serving in Afghanistan, helping with Afghanistan, we knew we had to pull the cool kids together, get a care package together for him and make him cards," said Jennifer Cobb.

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The Stano Foundation has been sending care packages to troops for years. They find out what the servicemen and women want, box it up, and send it off.

Twenty-one packages just arrived in Afghanistan for airmen working 12-hour shifts, likely helping with evacuations.

“We send care packages anywhere, anytime, any branch. Because our troops will hopefully be pulled out soon, we are still getting requests from Germany, Qatar. Some countries where we are still there," said Paul Stano, founder of the Stano Foundation.

There’s not much that can be done for those serving thousands of miles away. But showing love and some of the comforts of home go a long way.

“It really hurts my heart. And this is just my way of giving back," said Stano.

“It is very worrisome we just pray for him every night, think about him lots. Text the family, make sure they are doing ok," said Cobb.

To find out more about the Stano foundation go to stano.org.