Spotlight on Your Community
Marlis Perez Rivera, National Military Family Association Volunteer, Tampa, FL
“You are so lucky to be here,” is probably the first thing military families are told when they get stationed in Florida. The Sunshine State detaches itself from other military communities by combining a year round vacation lifestyle with amazing military installations. However, what sets this area apart is the sense of being one strongly united family. The welcoming feeling as one integrates into the community is what brings the joy of calling this place home.
Beyond charming beaches, numerous parks, attractions, and outdoor activities, the Tampa Bay Area is home to a cosmopolitan military community. As you approach the gate at the MacDill Air Force Base, you immediately notice the friendly personnel that would go out of their way to provide you with the information you need. The base is home to military families of various nationalities. Apart from the traditional facilities, including impressive fitness centers, a golf course, and fishing spots, the base has a beach area and a walking trail along the bay shore side. It is not uncommon to see people jogging, walking or simply admiring a beautiful sunrise. With so many activities to choose from, there is something that will entice each family member.
The complex history and a vibrant blend of cultures enrich the Tampa Bay Area. In addition, the sunny weather invites locals to participate in an array of community activities, local parades and festivals. The proximity to shopping centers, restaurants and universities make the Tampa Bay area a convenient location. Military families can also take advantage of discounts or gratuity for shows, sports, aquariums, movies and theme parks. Bush Gardens, SeaWorld, the Kennedy Space Center, Universal Studios or Disney World Parks are just a few options the whole family can enjoy on a weekend.
Another benefit of residing in the area is the astonishing subtropical flora and fauna. The local parks, beaches, botanical gardens, aquariums and zoos are unique opportunities to explore the environment. For example, in the winter time you can watch manatees as they gather in the warmer water around the Tampa Electric plant. No matter how long you have been living here, the sight of dolphins close to the gulf’s shore is certain to spark your excitement. In the Tampa Bay Area one can find something new to do every time.
This, together with the caring military community in the area, marks the region as one of the most desired places to reside in. It is not difficult to feel “lucky” when you live in such an incredible community.
Return to Full Issue
Until military families are relieved of the weight of war, we hope you will continue to contribute to their wellbeing.
Sign up to receive periodic eNews and alerts.
Want up-to-date information and a community of people that care about military families?