On October 26, the Marquette chapter of Silver Wings, a collegiate advocacy group supporting the United States military, will host their first ever service member appreciation day from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the Alumni Memorial Union Room 254.
The event will include videos and slide shows, as well as banners and cards for people to sign to show their appreciation. The slide shows and videos will include members of the military who are related to students at Marquette and some who attended Marquette. Silver Wings will then send the cards and banners to the troops in Iraq, who will hopefully receive them around Thanksgiving. Silver Wings Secretary Craig Kellner said that it will serve as a time of reflection.
One person for whom this day really hits home is Kristen Dvorak, a sophomore at Marquette. Her boyfriend, Seth, was deployed to Iraq just over a month ago, on September 15.
Kristen and Seth are from the same town and have been dating for five years. He has been a member of the United States Marine Corps since September 18, 2007 and is scheduled to return in mid to late spring of 2008.
Kristen joined Silver Wings this year because she wanted “to support the troops and meet people in similar situations. . . [and] help others understand the situations family and friends are in, both during times of deployment and being stateside.”
“Silver Wings has helped me stay strong and keep a positive attitude. I know other people are concerned at watching out for those overseas, whether they know them personally or not. They are not only there to support the troops, but to be support for others connected to people in the military,” she said.
The Marquette chapter of Silver Wings was founded five years ago and has grown into one of the largest chapters in the area.
The group includes civilians and Reserved Officer Training Corps members. Their president, Emily Fleck-Mitchell, said that one of their goals for the upcoming year will be to increase membership to 25 members.
The organization also wants to excel in their participation in the Joint National Project. This project has been the annual service project undertaken by Silver Wings along with the Arnold Air Society, an honorary service organization that supports the United States Air Force.
For the joint project last year, they sent the troops movies, candy, popcorn and other movie-related items as part of what they called “Take a Soldier to the Movies.” This year, the service project will help to feed the homeless. Other plans for the upcoming year include participating in ARCON, or the Area Regional Conclave, where the members of regional Silver Wings chapters meet to discuss fundraising, professional development, service and recruitment.
The mission of Silver Wings members has been to create “proactive, knowledgeable, and effective civic leaders through community service and education about national defense.” Through events such as Service Member Appreciation Day, Silver Wings hopes to achieve these goals.
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