Chaplain David Lefavor has organized a group of community supporters to recognize; honor and benefit National Guard, Reserve and Active Duty Chaplains recently back from a combat deployment in Iraq or Afghanistan.
There are well over 250 Military Chaplains serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. These chaplains normally remain deployed anywhere from six months to 12 months, some even for 15 months.
Chaplain Lefavor, a Retired Military Chaplain, began Project Gratitude by uniting an alliance of organizations in Florida to include: the Governor's Office, US Senator's Nelson and Martinez, the Mayor of Temple Terrace, the Marriott Hotels, American Legion post 152, Suncoast chapter of MOAA, Busch Gardens and Kennedy Space Center, for the common purpose of recognizing the special contributions of Military Chaplains who have completed combat tours in Iraq or Afghanistan.
Project Gratitude provides Military Chaplains back from combat deployments and their families with a brief three day ‘R & R’ respite in Tampa, FL. Project Gratitude is a small "thank you" to these Chaplains and their families for their service and sacrifice for God and country.
The trip includes a complimentary three day visit in Tampa with a room at the Marriott Towne Place, Busch Gardens and MOSI passes, passes to Kennedy Space Center, coupons for local restaurants and reimbursement for vehicle expenses.
There is also a tremendous secondary benefit that this program provides because it raises the awareness of the important contribution of Military Chaplains as well as involving federal, state and local officials in recognizing these chaplains individually for their service and sacrifice. Each Chaplain that Project Gratitude assists is presented with a recognition letter from the Florida governor, letters of appreciation from Senators and a Proclamation by Mayor Joe Affronti of Temple Terrace, FL at a monthly reception.
Project Gratitude is provided by a coalition of businesses and Veteran Service organizations in the Tampa Bay area and Dayton, OH.