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Local veterans helping other vets earn special experiences

By Staff | May 1, 2012

For a second year, local Amvets Post 81 and American Legion Post 336 are collecting Miller High Life bottle caps and beer can tabs for the “Give a Veteran a Piece of the High Life” campaign.

A few years ago, a group called Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) and Miller High Life partnered for the campaign. Miller High Life pledged up to $1 million in cash and “High Life” experiences for specially marked bottle caps and tabs from Miller collected from across the country.

The “experiences” can be anything from tickets to Major League Baseball and National Football League games, NASCAR races, sporting events, concerts and more.

“With more than 40,000 troops returning to the U.S. by early 2012, it is important to help them return to normal/civilian life,” said AMVETS Post 81 Provost Marshal Doug Robeson. “For every yellow ribbon-marked bottle cap and any beer tab, Miller will donate 10 cents toward tickets and experiences to help them adjust. Miller has donated over $2 million in the last two years to support our veterans.”

The program started May 1 and will end Aug. 31, when the fun will begin for officials who have to count all the donations, some lengthy work, they say, is worth it.

“Post 81 is joined again this year with the American Legion Post 336 Ladies Auxiliary in collecting for the campaign,” Robeson said. “Other organizations are being contacted to join us. You don’t have to be a member to drop off donations at their locations. For us, it is veterans helping veterans. They (Iraq and Afghanistan veterans) are the new kids on the block. We do not know what it is like for them, but we do know what it was like for us.”

Both Amvets and American Legion officials – including Robeson and American Legion Post 336 Ladies Auxiliary President Dee Simms – are asking for cap and tab donations from legal drinking-age local residents. Last year was a great success, they said.

The Amvets post – Jack Cava Amvets Post 81 – is located at 1910 N. Tamiami Trail, just north of Winn-Dixie and across from the Goodwill Thrift Store. The post phone number is 995-1001.

The American Legion – Ralph W. Sparks American Legion Post 336 – is located at 5770 Bayshore Road, just east of Sweetbay Supermarket. The phone number there is 543-1919.

You can also learn more by visiting IAVA.org or millerhighlife.com.