BROOKSVILLE — During a time in history when veterans’ issues are important talking points, one local veterans organization is making real changes in the lives of their colleagues. But it takes a united front to progress their initiatives and they are asking for help.

On Oct. 19, Marine Corp League Detachment 708 will stage a benefit at Silverthorn Country Club, 4550 Golf Club Lane, to help raise funds to support several of their programs. In collaboration with Access Healthcare Physicians LLC, the evening will provide dinner and a guest speaker, Major General James “Hammer” Hartsel, a recently retired four-star general. Guests will also participate in a silent auction with chances to win many big-ticket items.

Senior Commandant Tony Akers said the Detachment 708 runs entirely on donations and fundraising. And currently they are low on funds that provide several programs for veterans in need. It assists in as many as 100 food boxes for needy veterans, efforts to pay living expenses and medical bills and run the detachment facility, which needs maintenance.

Small-scale fundraising wasn’t as effective as needed. The facility, built in 1985, will require maintenance, and a marquis out front has been on the wish list for years. It is an important addition that will attract patrons to the Command Post, a full restaurant, as well as various activities and events that aren’t just available to veterans.

So, they brainstormed ideas and decided to seek help by contacting larger corporations looking to collaborate on larger scale events.

They came across Access Health Care Physicians, a large medical presence in Hernando, and found they were looking for an organization to support. “We went through the vetting process. They looked over our fiscal plan and went through a few phases of interview,” explained Akers. “They could pick any veterans organization to help. They believed in us and decided to help us.”

Cited as their biggest fundraiser to date, the event will combine a lavish meal, live entertainment by DJ Eric Mejia, a silent auction with items like grills and fire pits, Keurig coffee-making systems and more.

The Detachment oversaw collecting items for the auction. “We really got some high-end stuff,” Akers said.

Access Health Care’s videography team crafted a video spot to promote the detachment and interviewed several soldiers, including a World War II veteran. The stories will be shared during the evening.

Tickets are $50 each or can be purchased as part of an event sponsorship. All proceeds support Marine Corp League Detachment 708 to “provide US Marine veterans and all other US Veterans comfort, support and dignity of life.”

For more information, contact Access Health Care’s marketing department at 352-616-0618 or email to or purchase tickets directly at