Joining Forces

American Legion Post 46 Commander Ed Bard welcomes Tarpon Springs Flotilla 11-9 Commander Tandy Brown to their new shared space in the Legion’s headquarters at 1254 S. Pinellas Ave. on April 30.

TARPON SPRINGS — Two military-affiliated volunteer organizations in Tarpon Springs recently decided to join forces.

The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 11-9 had been meeting in a temporary headquarters in the clubhouse of the Green Dolphin condominium complex and via Zoom since the start of the pandemic. The group also had to suspend all boating safety classes, patrols and vessel safety checks during the yearlong coronavirus crisis.

But with the pandemic-related restrictions starting to be lifted, the flotilla was searching for a new home base, and that’s when American Legion Post 46 Commander Ed Bard stepped in.

Bard, who during his time in charge has overseen several changes that have helped resurrect what had been known as the “ghost post” due to its inactivity, welcomed the organization to share space in its newly acquired building at 1254 S. Pinellas Ave., to the delight of flotilla members.

“American Legion Commander Ed Bard invited our ‘orphaned’ flotilla to share space at their newly acquired building and the two organizations will definitely complement each other,” Joan Jennings, the flotilla’s staff officer for human relations, said via email. “On Friday, April 30, Flotilla Commander Tandy Brown and other Auxiliary volunteers began relocating the materials and supplies to the second floor of the American Legion, and we want to thank Commander Bard and the Legion for initiating what we hope will be a longstanding partnership.”