Military Law Caucus holds successful first ‘Boxes for Troops’ drive

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – When Danielle Curtin and Charles Deibel began their work with the Military Law Caucus this semester, they knew they wanted to help create an organization that supported not only Penn State Law and the School of International Affairs (SIA), but also veterans and active military members throughout Penn State and the greater community. Curtin, a first-year law student currently in the Army Reserve, and Deibel, an Army veteran and first-year law and international affairs student, both understand what it’s like to be deployed overseas, and felt that their organization could send some pieces of home to the 854th Engineering Battalion, Curtin’s unit currently serving overseas.

Setting up in the lobby of the Lewis Katz Building over the course of three days, the Military Law Caucus collected a variety of items based on what Curtin and Deibel remember wanting while deployed. They collected 65 chapsticks, 103 packages of cookies, 20 bottles of sunscreen, and over 30 cards with messages of thanks and encouragement, among with many other items. In all, 30 care packages were assembled, totaling over 100 pounds in shipping, to send to the 854th. Donations came from Penn State Law and SIA students, staff and faculty, as well as a local law office.

“The amount of support from the entire Katz Building was overwhelming,” said Deibel. “It was inspiring to know how much faculty, staff and students care.”

“We are so grateful, and feel so lucky to be a part of this community,” said Curtin. “To see all of the support already, even though we just started, is a great feeling. And these care packages meant the world to my guys.”

Both Curtin and Deibel emphasized that they want to continue to grow the Boxes for Troops drive, and expand it to the community outside of Katz. Additionally, the Military Law Caucus is exploring other opportunities for meaningful outreach to support active service members, veterans, law enforcement, first responders and students, including collaborating with an organization that aids homeless veterans and fundraising for scholarships.

“As lawyers or international affairs professionals, we’ll be able to effect change in these areas in coming years,” said Curtin. “We’d like to start now.”

The caucus will also incorporate an educational awareness aspect in their outreach, holding talks and panels covering topics like women in the military, military suicides, and homosexuality in the military. They believe these topics can also apply to students not necessarily involved or interested in the armed forces, and can start a dialogue.

The Military Law Caucus at Penn State includes members who are currently active or have served previously in a branch of the U.S. military, as well as individuals with no military experience, from both Penn State Law and SIA.

Last Updated April 21, 2017