Montclair State University’s Student Veterans Association (SVA) traveled to the Four Seasons at Great Notch on November 13 to join its Veterans Club in assembling care packages to send to troops stationed overseas. While Montclair State student veterans and service members have participated in a care package program for several years as part of Veteran and Military Student Recognition Week, this is the first time that they have teamed up with the Four Seasons at Great Notch Veterans Club in Clifton, New Jersey.
“I am happy our Student Veterans Association and the Four Seasons at Great Notch Veterans Club were able to partner on this initiative,” said Denise Rodak, Coordinator of Veteran and Military Resources at Montclair State. “It is touching to see the two veteran groups working together. They served at different times, in different wars, but the bond is evident.”
“The idea of care packages is not new,” said SVA point person Joseph Subia, an exercise science major who served in the United States Navy for 11 years. “We are taking that idea and expanding it to other veterans, students and civilians in the area.”
Members of the Veterans Club at the Four Seasons at Great Notch, who served in World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and the National Guard in the 1960s, collected donations of everything from black socks and coffee to magazines and canned soup from their fellow residents. The sought-after items went into care packages that the University students helped to package.
“We solicited names from our Montclair State veterans and service members to send the packages to,” explained Rodak. “Many of our students still have friends who are serving. We also plan to send items to Montclair State students and alumni who were deployed to Bahrain over the summer.”
For Subia and his fellow veterans, the care package project is personal. “Just because we aren’t active duty anymore, doesn’t mean we don’t support those who are or who need help overseas,” he said. “I know what it was like to receive a care package from back home, so I know our packages will go a long way. It’s an honor to still serve in any way I can.”