Care packages on the way to deployed Mountain Lions

Shown from left to right with donations for the care packages are Jerry Coffman, member of the CU Student Veterans Association; Michael Shrader, student Veterans Advocate and member of the CU Student Veterans Association; and Dr. George Williams, Concord’s Veterans Advocate.

ATHENS, WV (WOAY) – A recent graduate of Concord University and two current students who are on deployment with the US military will soon be receiving an encouraging surprise from home.

Concord’s Office of Veteran Services and the CU Student Veterans Association collected items from the Concord campus community to fill care packages for each of these three individuals.

Dr. George Williams, Concord’s Veterans Advocate, appreciates the “amazing response across campus” for the project. “We have a very generous campus,” he said.

Donations included an assortment of nonperishable food items such as beef jerky, sunflower seeds, nuts, cereal, breakfast bars, drink mixes, dried fruit, trail mix, mints and chewing gum.

Monetary donations were also accepted to help cover the cost of shipping and to purchase additional items if necessary, not only for these three Mountain Lions, but also for others deployed in the future.

As a veteran of the US Navy, having served during Desert Shield and Desert Storm, Williams understands from firsthand experience what care packages can mean to the recipient.

“I know how much these packages mean when you are so far away from family, friends, and home, and I know these students will very much appreciate receiving a package from CU,” he said.

“I remember getting care packages while I was deployed,” he said. “It’s amazing how it can change things.”

Recounting a particular instance during his time in the Persian Gulf, Williams said he and his fellow sailors had been at sea for more than 100 days, and the mood on the ship was “tense.” But when a care package arrived on board, he said it “changed the whole mood of the department.”

“It was very nice to get,” he said.

Generous with their special deliveries, Williams explained he and his shipmates would “share with our buddies” so that more than the recipient benefitted from the contents of the packages from home.

Williams said the CU veterans groups are planning to continue the care package project next semester and beyond as additional Concordians are deployed.

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