Campus Silver Wings chapter supports troops

  • The student group Silver Wings held a fitness challenge on Tuesday in the Alumni Memorial Union.
  • Silver Wings supports both current and former members of the military through various community service projects.
  • In the past they have held a clothing drive for veterans and helped assemble care packages for soldiers.

  • The group is made up of both students in ROTC programs and students without ties to the military who just want to offer support.

With thousands of miles separating citizens and troops serving overseas, conveying support to members of the armed forces can be a difficult task.

The student group Silver Wings aims to bridge this gap by helping everyday citizens serve as a support network for both current and former members of the military.

The community service organization has chapters at universities across the nation, including the Jeanette Kapus chapter here at Marquette. Members complete various community service projects throughout the year — most of them benefiting active troops or veterans.

The Marquette chapter held a fitness challenge on Tuesday in the Alumni Memorial Union to raise awareness for the group, inviting students to see how many push-ups they could do in one minute and see if they have what it takes to enter the military.

Some of the projects the group has completed are a clothing drive for veterans and assembling care packages to send to troops overseas, said Jordan French, a member of the club and a sophomore in the College of Health Sciences.

In one project, French and others interviewed veterans about their experiences.

"It wasn't just their experience in combat, but the way their lifestyle was," French said. "We wrote up a one-page bio on each of those persons and gave it to the families."

The aim of the club is to honor and recognize the service of members of the military, said Michael Schumer, also a club member and a sophomore in the College of Health Sciences.

"I'm in ROTC," Schumer said. "One day I'll be over there, and I don't want to be forgotten."

About half of the club's dozen members are involved in ROTC programs on campus, French said. The other members either have family in the military or are simply interested in supporting troops.

"You don't even need to have a tie," said French, who is not involved in ROTC, but hopes to enter the military. "You just need to be interested."

Schumer said Silver Wings' national leaders "want the organization to be civilian-run."

One of the group's biggest projects is service member appreciation day, which happens every April, said Michelle Blaschke, president of Marquette's Silver Wings chapter and a junior in the College of Business Administration.

On that day, Silver Wings has a booth in the AMU where students can sign cards thanking members of the military for their service. The event will be held on April 14 this year.

She also said the group is planning another fitness challenge for April.

According to Blaschke, Marquette's chapter of Silver Wings hosted the regional convention for the group last year.

There they won the Outstanding Chapter President award and an award for best service project.