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Students Work Together to Help the Troops

Dog Tags
11/10/2008 —

The first 125 dog tags monogrammed with “PSY BE THEIR HERO” have already sold out at Penn State York and the second batch is selling quickly according to Eric Hudak, 29, a senior at Penn State York and a member of the Veteran’s Club.    Dog tags are being sold for $2 each from noon – 1 p.m. outside the Lion’s Den of the Joe and Rosie Ruhl Student Community Center each day at the campus.  Proceeds from the dog tags will go to purchase items for care packages to send to the troops for the holidays.  Hudak knows a thing or two about being away from home during the holidays.  He has served two tours of duty in the military.

While enlisted in the Army, Hudak was deployed to Bosnia for eight months, and later served one year in Iraq.  Hudak is a member of the Penn State York Veteran’s Club, as well as a student in Joe Downing’s public relations class.  After sharing his experiences with the class, he helped to inspire the students to focus their public relations campaign this semester on supporting the troops during the holiday season.   The class designed a marketing campaign and decided to work along with the Veteran’s Club to help the troops.  Penn State York’s Veteran’s Club had planned to do something to help the troops so a natural alliance formed between the Veteran’s Club and the public relations class to combine their efforts to brighten the holiday season for soldiers deployed overseas at this difficult time of year.

“Food, shelter, religious practices, and especially mail boost your spirits,” Hudak says. “It doesn’t even have to be mail from anyone you know.   For a soldier, receiving mail raises your moral and makes a bad day better.  This project is a way to give back and say thank you to the troops.”    The care packages are being sent to 1st Lt. Donald Wagner, a Penn State alum stationed in Afghanistan who is also a blogger on the Penn State Live site.  Wagner will see that the care packages are distributed.

To make a difference this season, the two Penn State groups are raising money to send care packages to soldiers serving overseas.   Care packages will include phone cards, beef jerky, Christmas cards, drink mixes, and pretzels.  The pretzels were donated courtesy of Snyder's Of Hanover, Inc.

In addition to learning about the fundamentals of a public relations campaign, Hudak also hopes “to make a difference this holiday season. …it means the world to get mail at the end of a long day.”

Monetary donations for the project are being accepted and should be sent to the Penn State York Student Government Association (in the memo line please write Veteran’s Club), 1031 Edgecomb Ave., York, PA   17403.  All donations must be received by Nov. 30.

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