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AUSA branch receives donation
1219 AUSA
AUSA Chapter President Mark Baker, left, shakes hands with Command Sgt. Maj. Edd Watson, the keynote speaker at Wednesdays AUSA meeting. - photo by Photo by Marguerite West, Media on the Move

Sam’s Club helped the Association of the United States Army Coastal Empire chapter provide “a voice for the Army, support for the soldier” with a $1,500 donation presented to AUSA officers Friday morning in Pooler.
The chapter president informed members Wednesday of Sam’s Club’s generous donation and spoke about the organization’s goals and accomplishments during a general membership meeting at Fort Stewart’s Club Stewart.
AUSA’s objective is to take care of active duty soldiers and their families, whether enlisted or officer, reservists, retirees, National Guard members, veterans, wounded warriors and government civilians, chapter president Mark Baker said.
Command Sgt. Maj. Edd Watson with the 1st Heavy Brigade Combat Team is an AUSA member and was the keynote speaker at the meeting. One way AUSA gives soldiers and their families a voice is by maintaining a presence on Capitol Hill, Watson said. AUSA members stay informed on decisions legislators make regarding the Army, he said.
AUSA is involved in numerous programs and activities, including sending care packages to deployed soldiers, supporting JROTC in area schools and assisting other organizations that aid soldiers, chapter treasurer Kathey Knott explained. Knott defined AUSA as a private, non-profit educational organization.
The AUSA Coastal Empire chapter now has 573 individual members and 73 corporate members, Baker said. The chapter president stressed one of the chapter’s primary goals is to increase its membership and encourage members to become more actively involved in AUSA projects.
“We’re looking for more volunteers,” he said. “We’ve found we only have a few people consistently doing everything.”
Baker added the chapter recently welcomed 200 new members, active duty soldiers assigned to the 1st Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division. Watson helped recruit AUSA members, and Baker hopes more active duty personnel will follow his example and join.
The chapter president highlighted some of the local chapter’s accomplishments this year, including updating its bylaws, holding a golf tournament fundraiser this past fall, assisting with Veteran’s Day observances and supporting the annual wreath laying at Warriors Walk held Dec. 11.
Along with Baker and Knott, chapter officers include vice president Otis Smith and secretary Carl Johnson.
Baker thanked the chapter’s numerous corporate members, like Harris Ace Hardware which has been a continuous corporate member for 30 years.
“The key to any chapter are our corporate members,” he said.
For more information, visit or call 912-877-4044.

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