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Students, Faculty Support Troops


Students and teachers donate goods to help out the troops in foreign counties. U.S. History teacher Cynthia Hasley collects the donations and packages them to send overseas.


By Kierra Lanier

Seven years ago, one of U.S. history teacher Cynthia Hasley’s AP students was upset about their father being sent overseas to Iraq. In response, Hasley suggested to adopt the unit and provide it with supplies that they would normally not be able to receive. From that day on, Adopt a Soldier has been supporting soldiers.

Adopt a Soldier is a donation project headed by Hasley. Students and teachers can donate items to be shipped overseas to soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“It doesn’t matter what you think of the war, the soldiers need to be supported,” Hasley said.

Every school year, Hasley receives a list of names of the soldiers in the unit that she has adopted. Then, she will send out an e-mail asking for a wish list form each soldier. In Hasley’s classroom, there is a box labeled “Adopt a Soldier” in which students can place any items they wish to have shipped overseas. Once she receives a wish list from every soldier, she places a list of items regularly requested by soldiers on the box.

“Especially knowing what kinds of conditions it is overseas, it’s good knowing that we’re giving them a piece of home,” Hasley said. “There are some parts of Afghanistan that are covered in snow and are in need of supplies.”

The common things that most soldiers tend to ask for are food, wash cloths, hand towels, toiletries like soap, and magazines. However, there are restrictions on these requests. Any food sent over has to be in its original, closed package, such as chips and candy. There are also some banned items as well. Hand sanitizer or any other flammable products are not allowed as well as any types of pork products, since in Iraq pork is not consumed at all due to religion.

Many of the units in Afghanistan are near a base that has a PX, which is army grocery store. A PX carries food products, wash cloths, towels, and other essential items. But there are a few units who go out on missions where a PX is nowhere nearby. Therefore, they rely on the supplies sent over by Adopt a Soldier.

“There are some units who are out in the middle of nowhere on a mission without a PX to get supplies or anything,” Hasley said.

In her classroom, Hasley has a tub labeled “Adopt a Soldier.” When the tub has reached a certain line, it is time to ship the products overseas. Hasley uses flat-rate boxes of different sizes. And to help pay for the funds, the teachers hold a Jean Day. Every month, there is about four or five major shipments. Hasley’s fifth block class often helps with packing the items.

“I help out because I grew up in a military family. So I know what it feels like to receive help from others,” junior Matthew Schneck said. “I want to extend the favor.”

If soldiers in Afghanistan were to eventually come back home, Hasley would keep helping out veterans. Her students also want to keep helping out others once all soldiers eventually come home.

“I hope that Adopt a Soldier will translate efforts to another organization that needs help, like children in need,” Schneck said.

The soldiers themselves have also showed their thanks by sending Hasley several plaques that can be found in her room as well as in the front of the school. On the plaques, recognition and thanks are outlined.

Hasley fully supports the soldiers and recognizes the sacrifices that they are making for their country.

“Compared to what they’re doing, what I’m doing is nothing,” Hasley said.

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  • S

    Sarah Beth HowardMar 29, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    One thing that most people don’t think about is that history is made not only with the big things that happen but also with the little things that happen throughout time. Soldiers in wars wouldn’t have the morale to continue without the support of the people back home, whether it is spoken or unspoken. Unlike the problems that are posted monetarily, it can be the easiest thing on earth to just write to soldiers in order to inspire them to continue for our nation. The main fact that the country doesn’t have all soldiers and no citizens is that the citizens must be there to support the soldiers. That is how the world goes around, and that is what America is for: to keep every dream alive and to have each other’s backs.

  • T

    Tyler ThompsonMar 26, 2012 at 9:28 am

    The soldiers that fight for the freedom of this country may be the most entrical part od this nation. Without what they fight for our government, economy, and everyday freedoms would not exist. No matter rather one agrees with the thought of war or not there is war and its a civilian duty to support those who fight for us. I love that Prince George is giving a little to the people who fight for us. It goes to show that no matter how small or young you are you can impact soldiers lives in an important way. The fact that the school supports this program is good the fact that the news makes it more widely known is better. Now everyone can know the impact that we as a school can have on the peoples’ lives that protect our lives.

  • B

    Bradley CooperMar 23, 2012 at 9:07 pm

    I cannot think of anymore more deserving of our donations than those fighting overseas. Also, I cannot think of anyone more appreciative of our gifts. I’m glad our school takes the effort to show those troops how much we appreciate their service.

  • M

    Matthew SchneckMar 18, 2012 at 6:10 pm

    It is good to see that Prince George is getting involved in service projects that benefit the individuals who sacrifice the most for our freedom. The article is very interesting as it demonstrates to the public that soldiers can not get everything they desire while overseas. Being in a military family, it is very touching to see the hand that our high school is extending to the soldiers. It would be very interesting to see in the article the soldiers’ reactions to the things that they receive overseas.

  • L

    Luke HumphriesFeb 26, 2012 at 10:44 pm

    This was a very good article, and this is a great program that Ms Hasley runs. All soldiers definitely need to be supported, whether people support the war or not. I know that I personally have donated to this, and there really is nothing better than knowing that you are supporting your country and someone in need at the same time. Hopefully she’ll keep this up for many years to come.