Every day Thomas Edison State University staff members assist military students on their educational journeys, but they also found another way to support deployed service members and their units.
The Support Our Troops Campaign was started in memory of United States Army Sgt. Keith Buzinski, who was killed in Afghanistan on April 7, 2011. Buzinski, who was just 26 years old when he lost his life, was a family friend of Charlene Martucci, fiscal administrator, Office of Military and Veteran Education, and president, American Federation of Teachers Local 4277, and the inspiration for this ongoing program.
University-wide collections have resulted in hundreds of boxes of supplies and goodies being distributed to student service members and their units since the program’s inception seven years ago. Boxes are shipped on a regular basis when they are filled through staff donations. Service members that this project has gifted have been stationed in places such as Iraq and Afghanistan, and on a ship in the Middle East, to name a few.
“The highlight of my AFT presidency has been our ongoing campaign to support Thomas Edison State University students who are service members deployed overseas,” said Martucci. “We have gifted so many TESU deployed students and their units in Keith’s memory, which has been an extremely rewarding experience.”
The troops are always thrilled to receive treats and comforts from home. They often send grateful emails with pictures of their units. The unit of Nikkisha Mercado ‘13 was one of the recipients, and she wrote “we really love the supplies, treats, and games you sent and send our thanks and love.”