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  • Florida Veterans' Foundation

    ABOUT OUR FOUNDATION Our team at the Florida Veterans Foundation is passionate about serving Florida Veterans and their families. We are committed to the mission, and all funds received are used to support our five initiatives to serve our Veteran community. NO FLORIDA VETERAN LEFT BEHIND BE AN AMBASSADOR Veteran Assistance Information Volunteer Now Gadsden Flag License Plate Honor A Veteran VA Pension Aid & Attenda nce Veteran's Crisis Care Network Fraud Prevention & Registry Veterans' Initiatives Interested in learning the history of the Gadsden flag and its significance to our Veterans? Check out Colonel Ben Findley's USA Carry article: "The "Don't Tread on Me" Gadsden Flag: Supports Freedom, Liberty, and Our Veterans". CLICK HERE I'M A VETERAN If you're a Florida Veteran in need of financial assistance, please reach out to your Florida Department of Veterans Affairs county office. CLICK HERE HELP A VETERAN If you want to parter with FVF to help our Florida Veterans, click below to get involved. ​ I WANT TO HELP HELP OUR HEROES Help the Florida Veterans Foundation mission of “No Florida Veteran Left Behind” By donating now! Your contribution will help fund the Florida Veteran’s Foundation’s mission to educate and bring public awareness to support Pre and Post 911 Veterans through our initiatives that will help Florida Veterans in need. ​ Honor someone you may know or make a donation on behalf of someone! DONATE


    VA Pension Aid & Attendance VA Aid and Attendance benefits and Housebound allowance VA Aid and Attendance or Housebound benefits provide monthly payments added to the amount of a monthly VA pension for qualified Veterans and survivors. If you need help with daily activities, or you’re housebound, find out if you qualify. ​ VA Aid and Attendance Eligibility You may be eligible for this benefit if you get a VA pension and you meet at least one of these requirements. At least one of these must be true: ​ You need another person to help you perform daily activities, like bathing, feeding, and dressing, or You have to stay in bed—or spend a large portion of the day in bed—because of illness, or You are a patient in a nursing home due to the loss of mental or physical abilities related to a disability, or Your eyesight is limited (even with glasses or contact lenses you have only 5/200 or less in both eyes; or concentric contraction of the visual field to 5 degrees or less) ​ Housebound Benefits Eligibility You may be eligible for this benefit if you get a VA pension and you spend most of your time in your home because of a permanent disability (a disability that doesn’t go away). ​ Note: You can’t get Aid and Attendance benefits and Housebound benefits at the same time. Resources The Florida Department of Veteran Affairs : Visit the FDVA webpage at for more information regarding how to obtain these benefits. NAVF : Visit the NAVF webpage at to recieve a free consultation.


    In Memory Of . . . Those who have served this great nation . To submit a Veteran to our page, click here. Dennis Maiocchi National Guard Robert Norem USAF Vietnam Veteran Lewis B Wilson Jr. Sergeant, USMC 1942-1945 4th Marine Division, Pacific Islands Buddy White Lee Alfred Jr. U.S. Army Oscar V. Dye USAF George C Brand Jr. National Guard, Company A 3rd Battalion, 124th Infantry Brigade Lieutenant Colonel E. Conrad Sittler​ U.S. Army Wayne H. Coloney Tom Chaboudy USMC April 6th, 2023 Harry L. Fake Jr. U.S. Army Vietnam Norman Gail Woods U. S. Navy, Chief Warrant Officer, World War II POW Larry Lattimer Major, USA, USAF (Ret), Vietnam Melbourne Allan Shepard Jr. USN, Vietnam Veteran Donald E. Wright Airman 3rd Class, USAF, Korea Dale Doss U.S. Navy Veteran, Silver Star Recipient Bernard "Bun" O'Connell Sgt, USMC 5th Marine Division, 13th Marines Colonel Harold E. (Hal) Grant Army Air Corps, USAF, WWII & Vietnam Veteran Robert “Bob” Lee Franklin, Sgt 29th Infantry, US Army Thomas Mabry Ervin Ramon Scott Sgt. Ronald Standiford U.S. Army, Co. C, 4th Batt, 31st Infantry. Vietnam, Purple Heart Virginia Woods Department of the Navy Matt Strong USAF Vietnam Vet Nolan L. Bennett U.S. Navy, NATO and Vietnam Passed on 08/27/2023 Myron Duane Kitt, Sr. USMC, Corporal Kitt Transitioned November 2, 2023 in Tampa, FL Memorial Wall George Wilsey, U.S. Army Dr. Harry K. Taylor Ms. Jessie C. Miller, USAF Ryan Elzie O’Leary Lance Corporal, USMC Tom and Christine R eddaway James Eveland John O'Connor Don Gress Misti Kehoe, Kelly Tepper, Kim Kehoe-Brown Jackie Modica Bob Kehoe Jim Camp & Eva Cline William Poe Radioman/Signal Corp, USA Roger Dale McKenzie U.S. Navy Veteran Megan Healy Dade Institute of Technology Jennifer Grier Dick Reddaway James H. Sutphin Rockledge, FL Josephine "Josie" Haynes Jennifer Grier Dick Reddaway Richard E. Tomlin, Jr. Ed Mullinax Mosquito Joe of Tampa Bay Nahlin Yanez George Diggins US Army, 2002-2023, Purple Heart Recipient Ellert A. Dominick US Navy Leyane Salcedo Army, 2-7IN Chandler Jackson Dawson SPC US Army Passed Dec. 29, 2023 Remembering WWII Veteran and Co-Founder of the Florida Veterans Foundation, Major John Haynes Video courtesy of WCTV. Honor A Veteran Your Name (First & Last) Your Veterans Name (First & Last) Email Please include any additional information you would like such as Branch, Date of Passing, etc. Submit Thanks for submitting! Additionally, to submit a photo of your Veteran please email the photo file to .


    Forward March Ambassadors for Veterans Council No Florida Veterans Left Behind The Mission ​ Assist Veterans in Crisis with assistance, outreach and education. Examples – Emergency Financial Crisis, Suicide Prevention, Opioid Addiction ​ Help qualified aging wartime veterans & their survivors apply for VA pension with Aid & Attendance benefits ​ Special Projects as needed To help veterans & their families Collaborate with statewide associations and increase awareness, outreach and support for veterans in need. ​ Fraud prevention and protection programs ​ Find Veterans and help them to register with the VA for benefits Ambassadors Ajax Paving Industries of Florida, LLC Aviv Clinics - Hypebaric Treatment Center Bob Asztalos, USN Commander Dennis O. Baker, USN Brigadier General Michael P. Fleming Buckeye Partners, LLC Colonial Assisted Living at Tampa Consolidated Credit (Free Financial Coaching) Crisis Center of Tampa Bay Cross Country Health Care Colonel Ben Findley, USAFR (Ret) Colonel DJ Reyes, USA, (Ret) Dr. Damon Friedman – SOF Missions Dr. William Proctor, USA Five S.T.A.R. Veterans Center, Inc. Fl. Society Sons of American Legion Florida Assisted Living Association Florida Society Children of the American Revolution Grow Healthy, LLC Hernando Beach Yacht Club Kathryn Gates-Skipper Lewis B. Wilson, III, USMC Lisa Giacobbe Major John L. Haynes, USMC Marine Corps League Tallahassee Medical Equipment & Supplies America MedLogic – Veterans Medical Advocates MoPar Muscle of North Florida National Association of Veterans & Families New Horizons of Tampa Bay Oxygen Rescue Centers of America Palm Beach Chapter Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) Partner Care Pharmacy Quiet Professionals, LLC Radiology Associates of Tallahassee Rep Patt Maney, BG, USA (Ret) Richards, Mitchell & Cross PA Rotary Club of Longboat Key Sachs Media South East Yota’s Sunburn Cannabis Suzanne Martin Synovus Trulieve William & Daphne Richards Wounded Veterans Relief Fund Now In Operation Emergency Crisis Helpli nes on HelpFLV website which is mobile friendly. Our Nation’s Defenders Need Your Help Ambassador Council Benef its App roved by the Florida Department of Veterans Affairs Adv anced Area Advocate Veterans Updates Honorary Status Brand Ambassador Listed on Ambassadors Wall At the State Capitol Invitation to the Annual Conference & Reception at the State Capitol Declaration of Support Certificate $1,000 a year for 3 Years or $2,800 Lump Sum Forward March: Florida Veterans Foundation unveils the Ambassador’s Wall of Honor at the Capitol. Florida Veterans Foundation No Florida Veterans Left Behind is our commitment to search out, locate and help serve our Veterans and their families. If you are interested in being an ambassador, please fill out the form below. FVF Financial Accountability is provided by an independent audit, FDVA statutory oversight and Form 990 is listed on the website FVF is also registered with the Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services, Registration #CH55898. Yes, I want to be an Ambassador! Name Email Street Address Zip City State Phone Note: You can also pay by credit card by calling the Foundation or check by mail. Yes, I authorize the Florida Veterans Foundation to publicly list my name as an official ambassador. Select an item ($) $1000/year (for 3 years) - $1000 $2,800 (Lump Sum) - $2800 Thank you for supporting our veterans! Become An Ambassador! All contributions are tax deductible to the extent allowable by law! Make Checks Payable To: Florida Veterans Foundation The Capitol, Suite 2107 400 South Monroe Street Tallahassee, FL 32399-0001


    Veteran Assistance Contacts Listed below are the main point of contact for vital veteran crisis and support hotlines. Florida Veteran Get Help Now Crisis Hotline If you or a loved one need support or connections to community resources as a veteran, call the Florida Veterans Support Line. 1-844-693-5838 National VA Homeless Hotline Veterans who are homeless or at risk of homelessness—and their family members, friends and supporters—can call in where trained counselors are ready to talk confidentially 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 1-877-424-3838 National Veteran Crisis Hotline Are you a Veteran in crisis or concerned about one? You're not alone—the Veterans Crisis Line is here for you. You don't have to be enrolled in VA benefits or healthcare to call. 1-800-273-8255 VA Caregiver Support Line VA's National Caregiver Support Line is a toll-free number for caregivers, family members, friends, Veterans, and community partners to contact for information related to caregiving and available supports and services. 1-855-260-3274 VA Health Care Hotline If you have questions regarding VA Health Care you can call in to the national hotlines to receive answers. 1-877-222-8387 VA Benefits Hotline For information regarding your federal VA Benefits, contact the VA Benefits Hotline below. 1-800-827-1000 MyVA411 Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—simplifies and improves customer access to VA through a single, easy-to-remember phone number. 1-800-698-2411 VA Benefits for Women Veterans Hotline The Women Veterans Call Center will help you navigate VA, point you in the right direction, and connect you with the Women Veterans Program Manager at your local VA medical center. 1-855-829- 6636 GI Bill Hotline Students and School Certifying Officials can contact the VA by phone for questions and answers regarding the GI Bill. 1-888-442- 4551 National VA Homeless Hotline Veterans who are homeless or at risk of homelessness—and their family members, friends and supporters—can call in where trained counselors are ready to talk confidentially 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 1-877-424-3 838 Florida Homeless Veterans Coordinator Florida’s Homeless Veterans Coordinator can be reached by calling the phone number below. 727-575-8136 Florida Veterans Support Line 1-844-MyFLVet is a toll free number that veterans and their loved one’s can call 24/7 for emotional support and information pertaining to community resources. 1-844-693-5838 To access the online Ask VA (AVA) go to:


    Veterans Resource Center Fraud Prevention, Charity Registry & VetSource Military & Veterans Assistance Prog ram >> Fraud Protection & Prevention ​ The Military and Veterans Assistance Program (“MVAP”) was created to help educate military members and veterans on the types of scams that target their communities, what they can do to protect themselves, and how they can help protect others by reporting scams and deceptive business practices. In addition, members of the MVAP team work directly with military servicemembers and veterans who have been targeted, or their representatives, to help resolve their consumer protection related issues or find other outside assistance if necessary. FRAUD PREVENTION GUIDE If you are aware of a scam targeting our service members or veterans, or you have been affected by a scam or deceptive business practice, please file a complaint with my office by clicking the link below or by calling my consumer protection division directly at 1-866-9-NO-SCAM (1-866-966-7226) Veterans Charity Registry & Check A Charity ​ All charities soliciting within the state of Florida (excluding religious, educational, political and governmental agencies) are required to register and file financial information with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS). Call 1-800-HELP-FLA (435-7352) or use our online Check-A-Charity tool to find out if a charity is properly registered. You can also find out how much the charity is spending on administration and fundraising and how much money goes to actual programming CHECK A CHARITY The Veterans Resource Center Coming soon a place to research products, services and other military organizations and resources who have registered with the Foundation. Click here to file a complaint


    Veterans Suicide Prevention & Crisis Care Network If you or a loved one is thinking about self-harm or feeling hopeless, reach out now. We understand that the challenges you've faced during your service can sometimes weigh heavily on your mind, and it's crucial to remember that seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness. You are not alone in this struggle, and together we can navigate the darkest times and rediscover the strength and purpose that lies within you. 988 Suicide & Crisis Hotline: Call 988 and press 1 or reach out via chat: Crisis Text Line: Text “HOME” to 741741 to connect with a volunteer Crisis Counselor. Use this button to learn more about the Veteran Suicide Crisis. CLICK HERE Joining Forces to Prevent Veteran Suicide in Rural Florida Counties The Florida Veterans Foundation has launched an impactful mail-out campaign aimed at raising awareness for Veteran Suicide Prevention in five rural counties: Escambia, Santa Rosa, Bay, Walton, and Okaloosa. This initiative, conducted under the Governor's Challenge Suicide Prevention Campaign, seeks to bring attention to the pressing issue of veteran suicide and provide vital resources and support to those who have served our nation. To learn more click here. County Veteran Service Officers Use this link to find a local Veteran Service Officer near you. CLICK HERE Resource Locators First Lady Casey DeSantis has spearheaded the development of an internet-based database known as Hope for Healing that offers an array of mental health and substance abuse resources exclusively designed for service members, Veterans, and their families. Visit to find help near you. is a comprehensive online platform dedicated to connecting individuals with a wide range of mental health and substance abuse resources. The website provides a vast directory of mental health and substance abuse resources, including counseling services, support groups, treatment centers, helplines, and other relevant organizations. Additional Resources In Crisis 211 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline Crisis Center of Tampa Bay DCF Statewide Office of Suicide Prevention – Military Vets Mobile Response Crisis Teams Navigating a Mental Health Crisis Stop Soldier Suicide Hope for Healing Florida Peer Support Hold My Guns Centerstone Military Services K9 Partners for Patriots Making the Connection VA Coaching Into Care – Family Support Veteran Spouse Network – Spouse Support Vets4Warriors Home Base Family Support Family Watch Model Helping Military Children with Traumatic Grief: Tips for Parents NAMI Homefront The Power of Parenting: How to Help Your Child After a Parent or Caregiver Dies Taking Care of Yourself While Caring for Others Booklet Addressing Family Needs Booklet Invisible Wounds (Mental Health and Traumatic Brain Injury) Endeavors (The Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic) – Veteran Support Gary Sinise Foundation – Veteran Support Give an Hour inTransition – Active-Duty Support Objective Zero Foundation VA Mental Health Support Walk The Talk America Wounded Warrior Project – Veteran Support Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Benefits, Housing, Financial Assistance, & Health ​ Employ Florida Vets – Veteran Support eBenefits: My Gateway to Benefit Information – Veteran Support Florida Veterans’ Benefits Guide – Veteran Support Veterans Benefit Administration – Veteran Support Veteran Rapid Retraining Assistance Program (VRRAP) – Veteran Support MyFloridaMyFamily Apply for VA Health Care PTSD Coach App with Digital Safety Plan


    Past Event Galleries 10th Anniversary Gala Military Legislative Reception 2023

  • Wyman Duggan | FVF

    Representative Wyman Duggan United States Marine Corps Reserve Commissioned Officer Representative Duggan was born in Jacksonville and is a fifth-generation Floridian. He has been married for twenty-four years to his college sweetheart, and they have three children. He received his undergraduate degree from The University of the South in Sewanee, TN, where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, and his law degree from William & Mary in Williamsburg, VA. Rep. Duggan is a graduate of the United States Marine Corps Officer Candidate School and served as a commissioned Marine Corps officer. He served in the Marine Corps Reserve from 1993 until 1995. He is a shareholder and member of the governing board of Rogers Towers, P.A., one of the oldest private businesses in Northeast Florida, founded in 1905. He serves as a business lawyer focusing on land use, private property rights, and economic development. He represents individuals, businesses, and non-profits struggling against government regulations and taxation in their pursuit of the American Dream. The Representative has been active in professional, civic, and non-profit activities at the state and local level for many years, including service as the Chair of the City of Jacksonville’s 2009-2010 Charter Revision Commission; as Vice-Chair of the City’s 2013 Task Force on Consolidated Government; as Vice-Chair of the City’s 2030 Comprehensive Plan Local Major Issues Committee; as a two-time Chair of the Commercial/ Industrial Development Task Force of the Jacksonville Regional Chamber of Commerce; as a Board member and President of NAIOP of Northeast Florida, the commercial real estate development association; on the Board of Directors of the Rotary Club of Jacksonville; on the Board of Directors of Jacksonville Community Council, Inc.; on the Board of Directors and President of Emergency Pregnancy Services, Inc.; on the Troop Committee of BSA Troop 2 (Great Muskogee District, North Florida Council); and on the Vestry (board of trustees) of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church. He is a member of the Leadership Jacksonville Class of 2009; Leadership Florida Class XXXII; the inaugural class of the Jacksonville Regional Political Leadership Institute; and the American Enterprise Institute’s National Leadership Network (Spring, 2016 Summit). << Back to Veteran Legislators

  • David Smith | FVF

    Representative David Smith United States Marine Corps, Retired Colonel Rep. Smith’s family moved to Central Florida in 1972 while his extended family still lives in the Merritt Island area. His father was a career U.S. Army officer and Vietnam Veteran. ​ Growing up and throughout high school, David was very active in sports. He played on both community and school baseball, basketball, football, and tennis teams. Additionally, he acted in multiple community theater productions, including roles in Inherit the Wind, Guys & Dolls, Harvey, The Madwoman of Chaillot, The Lion in Winter, Macbeth, As You Like It, and Jesus Christ Superstar. David attended vocational training in high school and earned a certification in welding. ​ David attended Texas A&M University on a military scholarship and graduated in 1982 with a bachelor’s degree in Business Management. Upon graduation, he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps. David earned his wings of gold at NAS Pensacola, launching his career as a UH-1N helicopter pilot. He flew more than 4,500 accident-free flight hours during his career and was a designated Weapons and Tactics Instructor. He made six extended deployments overseas or aboard ship, including a combat tour flying in Operation Iraqi Freedom. In addition to his flying duties, David also had multiple assignments as a Program Manager overseeing military procurement contracts. ​ After graduating from the Defense Acquisition University, he was selected by the Marine Corps as one of their first Acquisition Professionals. David also holds a Master’s degree from the Florida Institute of Technology in Business Management. He had Command assignments or Program Management responsibility for three separate billion-dollar programs, and his final Marine Corps assignment was leading a military and civilian workforce at the Central Florida Research Park that managed $1.4 billion worth of Simulation & Training projects. ​ After 30 years of service, David retired at the rank of Colonel. He has worked in the private sector of Central Florida’s Simulation & Training industry for the last seven years. He currently owns a business consulting company. ​ Colonel David Smith lives in Winter Springs and is very active in community affairs. He is a Paul Harris Fellow at the Winter Springs Rotary Club, a member of the Seminole County Regional Chamber of Commerce, VFW Post 5405, and multiple other Veterans organizations and local non-profit groups. Additionally, Rep. Smith is a member of Leadership Orlando class #78 and Leadership Seminole class #26, and the CrossLife Church in Oviedo. He is one of the few combat veterans in the Legislature. << Back to Veteran Legislators

  • Joe Casello | FVF

    Representative Joesph A. Casello United States Air Force Noncommissioned Officer Originally from Massachusetts, Representative Joe Casello and his wife Josephine reside in Boynton Beach. A lifelong public servant, he served as a Boynton Beach City Commissioner from 2013 through 2018 for District 4. He was appointed as the Vice-Mayor and then elected to the Florida House of Representatives in 2018. Born in Worcester, Rep. Casello attended public schools in his community. He graduated from Worcester Industrial Technical Institute in 1972 and Quinsigamond Community College in 2002, where he earned an Associate in Science. The son of a Navy World War II veteran, Rep. Casello honorably served as a Non-Commissioned Officer in the United States Air Force in the early 1970s. Assigned to the 212th ANG Unit, he was responsible for installing radio transmission sites throughout the country. In 1974, he was appointed to the Worcester Fire Department and promoted to Lieutenant in 1984. Within the Fire Department, he served in many capacities, including arson investigator, working closely with the State Fire Marshal’s Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. Rep. Casello is a business owner and licensed electrical contractor. He operated Casello Electrical Services, specializing in residential and commercial electrical design and installation. His civic engagement includes time spent on the Board of Directors of the Palm Beach County League of Cities, as President of the Knollwood Homeowners Association, and as a member of the Palm Beach Sober Home Task Force as well as the Municipal Retirees Association. He also serves on the Board of Trustees for JFK Hospital and has volunteered with Feeding South Florida during the pandemic. Drawing on his past experiences as a firefighter and service in the Air Force, Joe has been a strong and vocal champion for first responders, police, and firefighters, as well as military veterans. He has sponsored legislation strengthening medical benefits for firefighters who contract cancer in the line of duty. He also worked with his colleagues to pass a joint resolution allowing the surviving spouses of deceased, disabled veterans to continue claiming the same tax credits to which their families were entitled before death. Rep. Casello is married and has one daughter. << Back to Veteran Legislators

  • Michelle Salzman | FVF

    Representative Michelle Salzman United States Army Vetera n Specialist Representative Michelle Salzman is a Wounded Warrior and full-time community volunteer who began her philanthropy journey while attending the University of Western Florida over a decade ago. She served in the U.S. Army for five years and transitioned into the civilian community by completing a degree in Computer Analytics and a degree in Business Administration. She served on the March of Dimes Committee for two years and moved on to help her fellow veterans as a volunteer with the V.A.’s local Vocational Rehabilitation office. She was elected to the Florida House of Representatives after defeating the incumbent representative on her first run for office. Her parents settled into her family home in Pensacola when she was in elementary school. In 1995, she graduated from High School and joined the U.S. Army at age seventeen. She entered basic training as the youngest in her class and then attended advanced individual training. After graduation, she left for Hanau, Germany, joining a unit already preparing for deployment. Four weeks later, she shared a former SCUD missile barracks in Kaposvar, Hungary, with the other soldiers in her battalion. U.S. Army supply clerk, Pvt. Michelle Hisle (her maiden name) spent her first journey away from home in a six-person advance party rolling into Tuzla Valley, Bosnia. The trip by convoy to Tuzla took two days. Pvt. Hisle drove the whole way, intrigued by the war’s impact on the region. She was tasked with helping set up a forward operating base (FOB), Comanche Base, for other American soldiers serving as part of the NATO Force. For three weeks, she shared a four-person tent with five other soldiers at a site that lacked latrines and only getting an occasional cold shower. Her duties included stringing concertina wire around the camp’s perimeter and distributing the contents of crates five times her size. The FOB was in a combat zone, so she could not safely leave the flight line because of snipers in the surrounding area and landmines that saturated the area. She was awarded numerous commendations for developing and implementing inventory control systems that saved the 1st Armored Division millions of dollars. Commendations included: an ARCOM (Army Commendation Medal), several AAMs (Army Achievement Medal), Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, among others. After serving her country, Rep. Salzman came back to Pensacola, where she used her leadership experiences and her Army College Fund to gain education and excel as a leader for her business and a leader in service to the Pensacola community. She has served on boards for various local PTAs, county-level PTA President, as well as the State of Florida PTA Board of Directors. She has been a full-time volunteer for several years now and received many awards and recognitions for her community service. The Representative has followed her heart and passion for helping those who cannot help themselves. This passion led her to focus on children, families in poverty, and her fellow wounded veterans. When she is not serving her community, she manages her photography business, Salz Studio, serving the gulf coast community for over ten years. << Back to Veteran Legislators

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