The Chanticleer Store, located in the HTC Center, is currently running an adopt-a-soldier drive to collect donations for a solider who is stationed at Camp Buehring in Kuwait.
Suggested donations for the drive include a variety of items related to the soldier’s hobbies and interests, as well as specific items that they request. Donations will be accepted through March 1. The donation bins are located downstairs in the Chanticleer Store directly under the windows near the entrance. If you have trouble locating them, simply ask a representative from the store.
CCU’s adopted soldier (whose name is kept private to protect identity) is a fan of hunting, fishing and automobile magazines. The solider also enjoys reading books and watching movies. The soldier has requested donations of warm, black socks, lotion/sunblock, masculine hygiene items, cookies and snacks, coffee/tea and protein bars/supplements.
The military funding coordinator on campus, Gregory Nance, attested to the importance of programs like adopt-a-soldier drives.
“It lets them know they’re not forgotten,” Nance said.
Hundreds of CCU students are veterans of the military, Nance said. CCU strives to ensure a uniform academic experience for all students.
The drive is one of the many ways Coastal Carolina University maintains an active role in the military community. The Office of Veterans Services has a presentation called Green Zone Training that is specifically for faculty and staff to ensure that they are informed and updated on the different types of situations veterans may face on campus.
For example, some veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder may need special accommodations in different areas and environments on campus. The office is also an area where veterans can meet up and converse.
The mission of the Office of Veterans Services is “to assist veterans in making the transition to college from the military and the transition to the workforce after college; to utilize the Veterans Success Team to retain and graduate veterans and their family members; and to conduct training for staff and faculty on veterans issues.”
“These types of programs are very important to our armed forces and ensure that CCU provides a stable and uniform learning environment for all of its students,” Nance said.
Alan Lam, 31, is a Chanticleer who served in the Army from 2007 to 2011 as a combat medic. He is currently pursuing his bachelor’s degree with a double major in philosophy and psychology. Lam recalls serving in Haiti and Afghanistan, where he received care packages from programs like the Adopt-A-Soldier drive. He says that, when a soldier receives a package, the feeling of opening it is like that of a child opening gifts on Christmas morning and that you just can’t wait to dig into it.
“The time and effort that someone put into making the package is what means the most,” Lam said. “They are rejuvenating and a reminder of why we started serving in the first place.”
Lam also says that the letters and cards that people write or attach to a package is sometimes more meaningful than the actual contents of a package.
“One time, when I was stationed in Afghanistan, I got a package with scarves in it. I thought it was very amusing that the package came to me there when the temperature outside was pushing 100 degrees.”
For more information, visit the Office of Veterans Services located in Room 203 of the Lib Jackson Student Union or visit www.coastal.edu/services/veteranstudents.