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For Our Troops

Congressman+Patrick+Murphy
Congressman Patrick Murphy

Congressman Patrick Murphy

Congressman Patrick Murphy

Marissa Gailey, Contributing Writer

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A popular club at South that initiates projects to help support deployed military personnel and their families, known as O.E.G. (Operation Eternal Gratitude), is almost done the fundraising for their separate project, Honoring Our Titans.

The wall will consist of plaques with the honoree’s name, the branch of service they have entered, and the year they graduated, as well as military emblems. Inside will also be a trophy case that will hold artifacts and an interpretation of the American flag. The Honoring Our Titans wall will be located across from the nurse’s office, adjacent to the cafeteria.

O.E.G. is a military support group for the deployed service members and their families that was created by Barbara May after the 9/11 attacks.

The group gathers together packaged items such as coffee, foot powder, boot socks, sunscreen, hard candies, lip balm, Ziploc bags, and other essentials service members need. They then procure the items in Mr. Woodring’s room and get mailing addresses for the boxes which get sent off to BoxIt, who then ship off the care packages.

“We have stands at football games, we straight up ask for donations, we sell apparel, and we hold a Wendy’s fundraiser. People who know about O.E.G. and The Wall send checks. If you go to smile.amazon.com, 0.05% of everything you buy goes to For The Troops,” said Mr. Woodring, a Navy Veteran and teacher here at South. Mr. Woodring sells hoodies, sweatpants, tee shirts, bracelets, and recently, snapbacks. Besides the fundraising events, O.E.G. holds a Veteran’s day event.

O.E.G. has been around to witness some incredible moments. “We had a Member of Congress speak about O.E.G. in the House of Representatives,” added Mr. Woodring.

On October 13th, 2010, Member of Congress Patrick J. Murphy went on to say, “The Central Bucks High School South students in Warrington, Pennsylvania and members of Operation Eternal Gratitude have done an extraordinary job in providing American service member care packages that remind America’s troops of our ongoing support and appreciation”. 

Congressman Murphy continued, “The student army at Central Bucks South has sent 320 troop care packages in one year as Operation Eternal Gratitude has expanded to be one of the largest student groups in the school district. Under the advisement of teacher and Navy Veteran Frank Woodring, and student leader Anthony DeFrancesco, Operation Eternal Gratitude has involved the entire school and surrounding community in their efforts to show our active duty troops how much we care and thank them for their service to our country.”

“We’ll continue to support the soldiers, keep supporting until there is no more soldiers to support,” Mr. Woodring added. Items for the care packages are gathered and shipped from the beginning of the year up until June, the items and amount of packages created are endless.

Shannon Meehan, a CB South teacher and Army Veteran said, “We received them daily. It is nice to receive them from high schoolers and young people. It shows they’re aware of what’s going on and that they’re trying to contribute in a good way.”

The soldiers who receive the care packages are beyond grateful. Just last year, a few who received care packages from Central Bucks South sent back a thank you note with an American Flag.

“I think it affects their moral in a positive manner. Receiving letters and the packages from people they don’t know affects them in such a positive way,” Mr. Woodring said.

Ms. Meehan then added, “It gives them a sense of comfort and makes them feel that they’re getting supported at home.”

O.E.G. is a clearly accomplished club. They’ve gotten passed their goals, have been recognized in places outside of school like the House of Representatives, and are well known for their constant work in supporting the deployed troops.

“One year, we had 4,000 pounds, which is 2 tons, in just one year of items. That was a pretty big accomplishment,” Mr, Woodring said.

Operation Eternal Gratitude has affected many people outside of the troops that receive them. It affects the students who are involved in the club and the teachers who contribute in the club.

“I feel O.E.G., for me, has helped me understand what’s going on overseas better. I’m proud to lead this group. It really affects me in a positive manner. It’s the right thing to do and the time I’ve spent on O.E.G. is tremendous,” Mr. Woodring said.

Though Mr. Woodring has invested so much time into this club, he claims he isn’t the one who runs it, giving credit instead to the combined efforts of the O.E.G. officers and the wonderful members.

Want to join? You can do so at any time. Just stop by Mr. Woodring’s classroom or talk to one of the officers!

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For Our Troops