Students Helping Veterans to Help Soldiers
Posted on July 3, 2012
ESBOCES administrators, students, and local veterans work together to help the troops returning from war.
Recalling what it was like returning from the Viet Nam War, veteran Bob Cuce tells his story to students. Then he stresses the importance– and the need – to thank the men and woman coming home from war today. An Eastern Suffolk BOCES Data Base Manager, he encourages support for troops returning home ill, wounded, and transitioning back into their communities; a labor Mr. Cuce leads by example.
Working with ESBOCES Career, Technical, and Adult Education Divisional Administrator Barbara Egloff, and students in Talia Cliffe’s Art, Design & Visual Communications class at Brookhaven Technical Center (BTC), Mr. Cuce requested patriotic artwork to be silk-screened on t-shirts for returnees at the Veterans Administration Puget Sound Fisher House in Tacoma, Washington. According to Ms. Cliffe, “The enthusiasm and pride displayed by the students was ‘huge’.” Additionally, the students created new stationery for the “home away from home” facility.
Military personnel and their families often travel great distances for specialized medical care, the Fisher House Foundation donates "comfort homes" for family members to be close to loved ones during hospitalization and recuperation.
The project, appropriately titled “Students Helping Veterans to Help Soldiers,” includes students working in conjunction with the National Dusters Quads and Searchlights Association where Mr. Cuce, formerly an Army Sgt., serves on the Board of Directors. Sixty-five members will be traveling to Washington in July and will present $50 gift cards to the troops housed there. United Parcel Service (UPS) is shipping the t-shirts, and toiletries collected from a recent student fundraiser. The ESBOCES Arts & Communications cluster accepted donations to purchase the shirts and supplies needed for the design and production of the artwork. BTC para-professionals did the ironing.
Displaying some of the t-shirt designs (above) created by students are (l to r) teacher Talia Cliffe, Viet Nam veteran Bob Cuce, Divisional Administrator Barbara Egloff, and teacher aide Cora Sparwasser.
Recently, UPS Business Manager Bonnie Drouin and Supervisor Bryan Gillen joined Ms. Egloff and Mr. Cuce at BTC to load the cartons on trucks for shipment to Tacoma. Ms. Egloff reported that the response to the project was so impressive, the school plans an even broader fundraiser next year, to which Ms. Drouin replied, “Let us know when you’re ready. UPS will help.”
On July 25 at the Milliken Technical Center (MTC), an Open House to show veterans the numerous educational opportunities available to them, will be held between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. The address is 375 Locust Avenue, Oakdale, and all are welcome. For information, call 286-6585.
Ready to load the UPS truck (above) with the cartons of t-shirts and stationery are (l to r) UPS Supervisor Bryan Gillen, ESBOCES Administrator Barbara Egloff, and Viet Nam veteran Bob Cuce.