PARKERSBURG - On Wednesday, members of the Marine Corps League Detachment 1087 of Wood County presented Parkersburg Catholic High School with awards for two service projects the students and staff completed last fall.
In commemoration of last November's Veterans Day, Student Council President and senior Jordan Wiseman coordinated a celebration to honor all who have served in the military.
Local veterans attended and spoke about their experiences as United States servicemen and women. In addition, a drive was organized to collect items to send to soldiers stationed in Afghanistan.
Marine Corps League Detachment 1087 of Wood County presented Parkersburg Catholic High School with awards this week. Seated from left are Jordan Wiseman, PCHS Student Council president, and Shea Wilkinson, PCHS teacher. Back row from left, Gary Matlock, Roy Trembly, Jack Martin, Ed Westfall, Jim Furr, Rich Sneigle and Scott Kirby. Front row standing from left, Greg Mitchell, Bernie Lyons, Larry Showalter, Richard Maxwell and Mike Francis.
Students were enthusiastic about the project, and many boxes were filled with donations of personal care items, playing cards, books, candy and personal notes from students.
Once the boxes arrived overseas, the items were delivered by a former student of PCHS and graduate of the United States Military Academy, Maj. Aaron Welch, deputy chief of assessments. In email communication from Welch, he notes "supplies went first to recovering wounded soldiers, then soldiers in the unit, and then to two USO facilities. We even managed to save small amounts of hard candy for Afghan children that live right outside the base."
Wiseman was honored for being instrumental in the organization of the Veterans Day service and for collecting donations to send to soldiers overseas.
Marine Bernie Lyons presented PCHS a United States flag that was flown in Afghanistan above an original I-beam from the World Trade Center that stands alongside flags flown from the other 12 nations that serve alongside the U.S. Military in the region. Lyons noted the flag represents "the thanks of a young man who sat in your seat, walked these hallways, and sat in the gym (of PCHS), who went on to West Point and chose defending our country as his career."
The staff and students also were presented with a plaque in appreciation of their many years of involvement in the Toys for Tots program, sponsored by the Marine Corps. Toy donations poured into the school before Christmas, and while on Christmas break, students and teachers volunteered to sort the donations that the program had received.
Teachers Christi Greathouse, Mary Dailey and Ann Marie Lynch were assisted by students Tully Lynch-Pastoor, Marijka Lynch-Pastoor, Allie Lowe, Alexis Saunders, Brooke Miller, Hannah Fisher and Haadiza Ogwude in organizing donations with the Marine Corps.
Commandant Jim Furr noted the PCHS students' role in this past holiday's collection aided 70 needy families and 160 children who would not have otherwise had gifts to open on Christmas Day.
Furr said, "We can always depend on the students at this school to give their all for a good cause."
"It's obvious from the way you students project your attitude, not only in the classroom and the sports arena, but also in your actions, that you will excel in your lives after leaving here," Furr said.