Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

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November 16, 2010

GCHS Students Give Aid to Troops in Afghanistan

Even though Veteran's Day was last week, a group of students at Greensburg Community High School have decided to keep their minds on American soldiers by gathering supplies to send to troops in Afghanistan.

When Kim Hayden, social studies teacher at GCHS, and his students watched Taking Chances, a film starring Kevin Bacon about a man who accompanies the body of a soldier from Afghanistan back to his final resting place, sophomores Danielle Fox and Hannah Browning decided to do something for the men and women who were in action in Afghanistan.

"We wanted to do something to say thanks," Browning said.

So they decided to put together a package of necessary food and toiletries to send to the troops.

Business education teacher, Susan Burbrink told Fox and Browning that her son-in-law had served in Afghanistan with Brian Mogan, a Sergeant in the Army who was serving a second term in Afghanistan. Mogan, who is based in the northern part of Aghanistan, works with a troop who is building a new post in that part of the country.

"They just got showers out there," Burbrink said. "Before they had to use the hose."

Fox, Browning, Burbrink and a group of students at GCHS have been working together ever since to send packages to Mogan and the rest of the troops at his post.

According Burbrink, about 200 soldiers are stationed at Mogan's post, but many leave on missions and don't return to base for days or weeks at a time. They have a limited supply of food on those missions, most of which consists of what they can stuff in their pockets.

"They have to go through all of that, and we're just sitting here safe at home," Fox said.

Burbrink said temperatures at night at this time of the year get down to 10 degrees.

As they continue to send packages, Burbrink and the students have also found ways to get the community involved with the effort.

Fox and Browning said they recently posted fliers in all the local businesses, hoping to get donations from people in the community. As they progress, the students said they hope to get to a point where they send a package out every week.

"Anything is better than nothing," Browning said.

Burbrink said anyone interested in donating to the effort can bring their goods to the high school.

"Just come to the office and let them know what it's for," Burbrink said. "We keep everything in an area by the pool."

Some of the items the troops requested were toiletries and basic items like baby wipes, shampoo, deodorant, body soap, toothpaste, razors, shaving cream, car air fresheners, hand sanitizer, hand and foot warmers and Zip-Loc Bags. They also asked for food items like beef jerky, sugar cubes, coffee, tea, canned soup, and any assortment of snack food. Their favorite candy is Tootsie Rolls.

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