Spouse energizes university students to support the military

  • Published
  • By Maj. Candice Allen
  • 926th Wing Public Affairs

Nearly 50 students, family members and spouses created care packages in Las Vegas June 20 to send to 926th Wing deployed Reserve Citizen Airmen.

Spearheaded by Senior Airman Sandra Sanchez, a 926th Security Forces Squadron member and military spouse, nursing students and family members from Chamberlain University gathered on campus to fill boxes with snacks and hygiene products to send overseas.

“It’s tough [to be a spouse of a deployed member],” Sanchez said. “Care packages help morale and lets them know we are still thinking about them.”

Sanchez, a newly elected Student Veterans Association (SVA) vice president at the university, came up with the idea of sending care packages and presented it to the association. Students wanted to do something to help the military, and then Sanchez remembered about her deployed comrades and said, “Hey, there’s how we can help.”

After only three weeks, Sanchez and other students raised $1,400.

This is the first time the students organized an event like this.

“[This event] is awesome,” said Jennifer Enriquez, a nursing student who attended the event and created cards for the deployed members. “I have not served, but I would like to be a supporter. This is the way I can support.”

One student knows firsthand what it is like to receive packages.

Kortney Petry, then SVA secretary and co-creator of the event, served in the military and deployed.

“I have received care packages while deployed,” Petry said. “[When you receive the packages] you remember that people still care about you at home.”

The student association reached out to both the local USO and American Legion Post 8, which donated money and 120 bags for the deployed Reserve Citizen Airmen.

Items included donated soap, toothbrushes, travel-size toothpaste, candy, hygiene products, razors, lotions and more. Students assembled approximately 70 care packages.

When it is all said and done, the association, organized by a military spouse, will have shipped more than a thousand items to deployed members.

“We know how it is to receive care packages, and we wanted to make them smile,” Petry said.