Who are The Citadel Heroes?
These 2 layouts below show the Flag Presentation Ceremony that took place in September 2008. The Flag was presented to the coordinators of the group at a Friday afternoon Citadel parade.
Who are The Citadel Heroes?
Part A - These are students that during the course of their college education at The Citadel, Military College of South Carolina, have been deployed in various branches of Military Service. They have had their educations interrupted for deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan. Some are still deployed and some have been able to return home and to school to finish their education.
Part B - The group that supports these students by sending them packages, cards, thoughts and prayers during their deployment.
Our next mailing project will be sending packages for July 4th and they will need to be ready sometime early June to arrive by the holiday. Please consider sending a donation if you would rather not go shopping. The boxes are getting expensive to ship because we are receiving so many. It's a wonderful predicament to be in!
Col. Carter will probably shipping mid June.
The last shipment was mailed out November for Christmas arrival. We mailed 68 packages to our Citadel Heroes stationed around the globe, so hopefully each Hero should receive gifts by 4 July.
Our thanks for donations go to several individuals as well as and Brownie Troop 3431 in Camden, SC, Brownie/Girl Scout Troop 940 at Ft. Jackson in Columbia, SC, and Brownie/Girl Scout Troop 1110.
We thank you all for your continued work on this most meaningful project.
For Contributions to this group to support the efforts if The Citadel Heroes, please mail anything you have to Col J. Carter, c/o The Citadel Military College of SC, Dept of HESS, 171 Moultrie Street, Charleston SC 29409.
If you would like to assist with the postage costs, you may make a check out to The Citadel, marked for the Citadel Heroes account, and send directly to The Citadel Treasurer's office, 171 Moultrie Street, Charleston SC 29409.
All donated items will be re-packaged at The Citadel for proper military-style shipping. Below is a link to a list of suggested items that are non-perishable, durable and approved. Please send items you wish to donate in one single box.
Click here to check out the full list of items our
Deployed Military can use.
Mail a check contribution for the support group to purchase postage and items to be sent at Christmas, Valentines, Easter and July 4th.
Help support our Hometown Heroes while they are deployed. Send cards, letters, your thoughts and prayers and any of the items listed at the bottom of the page.
Here is a link to open a new page for
The Citadel Family Association
from The Citadel Heroes.
Here is a link to a Citadel Family Association Newsletter
that tells more about The Citadel Heroes.
These 2 layouts below show the results of the collection efforts for the Christmas packages mailed
to our Citadel Heroes in late November 08.
Altogether, items were collected that resulted in 195 care packages being sent.
The page on the left shows the boxes lined up before, during and after packaging
as well as a photo e-mailed to us from one of the recipients as some of the packages were opened.
The page on the right shows has some of the earlier thank you notes
the group back home received from the recipients of the packages.
These layouts below represent the first Care Package mailing in November 2003 that was initiated by Cadet Chad Buckel of New Orleans, Class of 2005, who rallied Citadel Cadets, Faculty and Staff to raise over $6,900 to be used to purchase items to be included in the more than 500 Care Packages sent to US Troops.
The page on the right, while not pretty, does contain 2 newspaper articles about the project.
These 2 layouts below show the followup Care Package project by Cadet Chad Buckel in February 2005. The main journaling on these layouts was taken from a bumper sticker in the parking lot. The Land of the FreeBecause of the Brave
These packages went to deployed units in Iraq and Afghanistan.
______________________________________________________________So how did this group that supports The Citadel Heroes get started? September 2007 -
It all started in September 2007 when Cadet Adam Gilmore (Class 2010) at The Citadel, Military College of South Carolina, expressed concern to his mother about a class mate who had been deployed. Later Adam's mother inquired of The Citadel Ombudsman about how many other cadets had their education interrupted due to deployment in the armed services.
In the past, CARE packages of various items had been packaged by small groups of Cadets to be sent to Military personnel around the globe during the holiday season.
That question sparked an investigation and Adam's mom, also a member of The Citadel Family Association, soon learned that there was no list. She got the incentive going for the list to be complied, with addresses, home addresses, and even requested birthdays in hopes of sending packages and starting a prayer chain for those that are our Citadel Heroes.
November 2007 -
The research revealed that there were 16 Cadets on the list. This was out of 1100+ alums who were believed to be deployed to various wars and military duty.
Due to privacy issues, all packages sent will have to go through Col C at The Citadel. This will delay the mailing of the packages, but it is decided that late packages are better than no packages at all.
The requests to parents, members of the Citadel Family Association, was to send the cards to be included in the packages addressed to the Citadel Heroes as “Dear Citadel Cadet”.
December 2007 -
By the time December 2007 rolled around, The Citadel Ombudsman reported there were 16 names on the list and “Operation Snack Foods to the Troops” had managed to mail out 50 boxes over the previous 2 weeks. Work on assembling the packages ranged from Cadets on campus and to various alumni and their co-workers in the Charleston County area. These packages were filled with cards, personal notes and letters, as well as the Snack Foods.
E-mails from Adam's mom to Col C start flying. Other members of the CFA are notified by this driven and energetic mother about the packages and prayer chain. She starts a newsletter to keep all informed of the groups activities, the Citadel Heroes cadets activities and to advise of new members.
Lists are circulated from the Charleston Post & Courier newspaper, with suggested gifts that could be sent to our deployed service men.
To name just a few:
We have all seen or heard these lists.
January 2008 -
- the packages have been received.
Thank You letter #1 is received. His packages were received the day before Christmas. “...I have realized the meaning of The Citadel Family...your boxes have brought immeasurable joy and happiness to those of us over here.”
Thank You letter #2 is received from one of our deployed Cadets. His packages have been received and are very much appreciated.
February 2008 -
- The fun of working for these deployed cadets takes a turn when the group learns that one is seriously wounded in Afghanistan. He is finally transferred to Walter Reed an prayers are called for.
April 2008 -
Unsolicited contributions begin to roll in from various e-mail recipients. What do we do with them? Where do we put them? We need an account to deposit them to. Do we use the funds to buy hand warmers for the Christmas packages or do we think about a scholarship. There was no plan the members of the group knew about, but it was apparent that God had a plan to be revealed at a later date.
May 2008 -
The Group Makes a Change of Direction
The Citadel Heroes group learns that one of the Graduated Cadets (class of 2006) has been very seriously injured in Afghanistan, was airlifted to Germany and the on to Walter Reed. The prayer network kicked in on his behalf. During the following months, this young man was visited by a number of Citadel Alumni from several classes. Requests then went out for suggestions about what the Citadel Heroes could do for this young man an his family to aid in his recovery.
June 2008 -
New names have been added to the deployed Citadel Heroes Cadets listing and 6 or 7 of those who have been deployed will be returning home and hopefully will be re-enrolled to finish their college career.
August 2008 -
One of the December packages misses its addressee who has returned from deployment in Afghanistan. It is waylaid, but eventually reaches another of our members.
September 2008 -
After word is sent out regarding one wounded Graduated Cadet, donations roll in to help pay for his family home to be updated with the necessary items to accommodate his injuries. All in all $3900 is collected by 2 September 08.
September 2008 -
September 08 becomes a significant RED LETTER day for the members of The Citadel Heroes group.
One of the deployed cadets who has returned from Afghanistan has brought with him a flag that was that had flown over an injured soldier in Afghanistan while being transported in a C-130.
The flag and the citation were enclosed an a specially made presentation box by one of the returned Cadets and was presented at ceremony prior to our Friday after noon parade.
These layouts above show the presentation, and 6 of the 7 returned Citadel Hero Cadets. Adam's mother and Col Carter are receiving the presentation of the flag on behalf of all The Citadel Heroes. Adam was chosen to escort his mother to the parade field for the presentation, which was a nice surprise to his mom.
Adam's mother said of the occasion: “As I took my son's arm, and Col. C and I walked up.....I looked into the eyes of each soldier. I imagined how their parents might be feeling, or how they themselves might be feeling. There stood Sam, with all of our prayers surrounding him....and there he stood! A blessing before our eyes! There stood James who told me that he kept Christmas cards from us and went to all of this trouble to say thank you. There stood 6 young men that were healthy, strong, and back home! I wanted to cry........but I could not. There were too many blessings! How could I cry? We could smell the grass of the field, feel the breeze across our faces, and hear the flapping of the flags in the distance. And here they were, safe!”
“As the announcer read out our teams accomplishments, I thought of you. How wonderful you all are. Somewhere along the way, we had made an impact in the world! We didn't just stand by! We did SOMETHING. No matter if it was large or small, we moved, we reacted! And it meant something deep to someone!”
“As James took his steps forward to place that precious flag in my hands, I looked up into his eyes and smiled for all of us. I choked up.....but the tears did not fall. I think Col. C and my son were both expecting me to fall apart about this time as I had given them fair warning. But it never happened. I didn't get to look at Col. C out of the corner of my eye, so I cannot vouch for him. :) The sun continued to shine....and the parade went on. It was a beautiful day.”
“The flag will be in Col. C's office for safe keeping. We will place it on our Christmas Card table during Parents Weekend. Please come by to see YOUR flag. I image we will bring it out for all events as it is something to be honored.”
October 2008 -
The Citadel Heroes team has grown to 42 members. (Update as of 9-20-09 80 members!)
Adam's mother tells the story to everyone she speaks with. Members are recruited very easily, each with a different reason for wanting to help, and each with something different to offer the group. We are updated with each new member and she keeps us all energized with her wonderful newsletters.
Click here for a Full List of Care Package items.
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