Service Learning: Connecting Class and Community

Ten years ago, many of us might not have been connected to the military community. We had the luxury of being able to enjoy our daily lives knowing that we were, for the most part, safe. But safety has a new meaning, and a new priority, since 9/11. We are now very much connected to the men and women who serve to protect our country from all threats at home and abroad.

Ten years ago, many of us might not have been connected to the military community. We had the luxury of being able to enjoy our daily lives knowing that we were, for the most part, safe. But safety has a new meaning, and a new priority, since 9/11. We are now very much connected to the men and women who serve to protect our country from all threats at home and abroad.

We, as a nation, have been called to action, and many of our young women and men are on the front lines protecting us each and every day. Their sacrifice is what allows us to enjoy our freedoms and to continue pursuing our dreams for college education.

Currently, some 3,000 members of the 3rd Brigade of the 3rd Infantry Division based in Ft. Benning, Georgia are back in Iraq. Many of them had spent less than a year at home before their second deployment. In addition to Army personnel, many members of the Navy, Air Force and Marines from here in Georgia are also deployed. In turn, some of the deployed forces include military reservists. While they previously sacrificed their weekends while working in civilian jobs, reserve forces are now among those serving on the front lines of the global War on Terror.

As we here at Georgia Gwinnett College begin to build our community, we should not forget the soldiers who put their lives on the line every day and the soldiers’ families that sacrifice time with their loved ones so that we can spend time with ours.

In an effort to recognize these soldiers and their families, Dr. Margaret Keiley’s American Government classes will be coordinating two special service learning projects this semester. In conjunction with the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), they have adopted a group of Georgia soldiers and will hold a collection drive for care packages for the soldiers and seasonal gifts for their families.

For specific details on what items are requested for the soldiers, please look for a list stationed at collection barrels in each building on campus. Specific customs regulations and climate concerns are reflected in the requested items. Donations should be placed – unwrapped – in the collection bins.

Beginning in November, a Soldier Family Tree will be placed in the Building B atrium. On the tree will be construction paper stars with a requested donation item for the child of a deployed Georgia soldier. In order to participate, remove a star and then bring back that item – unwrapped – to the tree.

Post 12002 of the VFW will deliver all donated items for the soldiers and their families. Please join us in showing our appreciation for the men and women who protect our freedoms and liberties. For more information, please contact Meg Keiley-Listermann, assistant professor of political science.

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