Members of the First-year Class Council decided that this year they would include service men and women in their Valentine’s Day plans.
The council recently put together a Coffee House event for first years at Quinby House, gathering students for snacks, music and poetry. Guests were also encouraged to write letters to service men and women stationed in Afghanistan.
The 85 letters written by Bowdoin students will be sent to Operation U.S. Troop Support, Inc., a nonprofit that is holding a collection drive to send letters of appreciation to men and women stationed overseas.
“I just thought Valentine’s Day would be a great day to show our appreciation,” said First-year President Justin Pearson ’17. “On Veteran’s Day and big holidays like that they receive a lot of love, but during this day of love when they are away from their sweethearts, they don’t really get that.”
Senior Minnie Kim agreed with Pearson. “It’s important for them to know that what they’re doing is appreciated,” she said. “And there’s something about receiving a hand-written letter that makes it more personal.”
First-year Dylan Goodwill has friends who are currently enlisted and deployed, and she said she wanted the person reading her note to know that she understands the sacrifices they are making by being away from their friends and families. “I think it’s good for them to know that people do notice and care, apart from their families,” she said.
Like Goodwill, Faith Macharia ’17 also has friends who recently joined the military. “I just wanted to thank them for all the good work they’ve done,” she said. “It makes me happy and grateful knowing they are protecting us.”
For first-year Luis Lopez, writing the letter is his way of helping someone. He recognizes it is a small gesture and would like to do more, but said he’s unsure what else he could do. “I really believe there is a person out there who needs my specific words and I feel like it will go directly to that person,” he said. “I don’t think it’ll go to any random soldier, it will go to someone who needed my words the most at the time.”
Chad Martin ’16 said he’d be touched to receive a note from a stranger. “If someone wrote me a letter, it’s going to feel good no matter what. Because someone took the time out of their day to send me positive vibes.”