WEST ORANGE, NJ – All eleven schools in the West Orange School District once again answered the call to create Holiday Cards for the troops with a resounding “yes,” as over 1,000 cards headed out this week to troops around the world.
“We Love Our Heroes,” a local group comprised of friends and parishioners of Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Church in Roseland, again set out to ship cards and supplies to the troops. This year’s packages are heading to Southeast Asia, Turkey, Japan, Bahrain, Fort Benning in Georgia, two Navy ships currently deployed and a few confidential addresses that cannot be disclosed. The recipients will be military from the Navy, Army and Marines.
The school district participated last year, and according to Suzanne Pennell, a West Orange resident and mother of Naval Academy midshipman Dylan Pennell (WOHS Class of 2014), “Feedback was one hundred percent grateful and positive…the troops were especially appreciative of the beautiful handmade cards made by our West Orange students as a personal touch means a lot to them.”
Students had to opportunity to learn there are young men and women from their own community and cities and towns across our country who pledged an oath to defend and protect the United States of America in military service. With that service comes the possibility of long-term deployment, often in places that are unstable and dangerous.
A simple thank you, a small care package, a handwritten or drawn card means can mean a lot to the troops and helps to sustain them during long days and many months apart from family and friends. Students were excited to create the cards and thank those in military service, as reported by all the principals.
“As the mother of a son who will be deployed on a US Navy ship in less than two years, I cannot say enough how grateful military families are for packages and letters to our troops,” noted Pennell.
“Huge thanks goes to Superintendent Jeff Rutzky for his incredible support, to our individual principals, teachers and staff for encouraging their students to participate and create and, most of all, to the awesome students of all our public schools for their willingness to share a little love and kindness with those serving our country,” she stated.