By Khrystyna Halatymaholiday_card_front

Executive Features Editor

A few weeks ago, teachers got an email from Naval Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (NJROTC) Commander Jeff Morse saying that the district would be sending holiday cards to deployed troops that wouldn’t make it home for the holidays. Teachers who responded to the email received blank cards their students could write greetings in. World languages teacher Lyn Scolaro was one of the many who responded and gave the cards to her AP Italian classes.

“When you have men and women serving to protect our freedom, it’s a small thing to do to bring some joy to people who aren’t going to be home at Christmas time and for the holidays,” Scolaro said. “I can’t imagine why not.”

Although students were allowed to write their own greetings, the email included a list of limitations and restrictions. These included:

1.     No profanity. No references to racial slurs/names or stereotypes of specific ethnic groups

2.     No ‘Hope you don’t get killed/blown-up/hurt’ statements.

3.     No references to recent media reports/current events (good or bad).

4.     No opinions of the state of affairs.

5.     No last names or phone numbers or emails. It’s OK to include non-specific information.

Junior Alissa Gnech is a part of NJROTC and enjoyed sending cards for the troops.

“It just felt really good,” Gnech said. “Once you’re in ROTC, you see a lot of people that go off and come back [and] you see a different side of them. You need to welcome them and you need to be nice to them.”

Scolaro agrees that community support is vital for those risking their lives by serving our nation.

“Can you imagine when they get [mail] from someone they don’t know, how much joy that brings them?” Scolaro said.

“I’d [mail letters] again because there are people out there [who] don’t have families, don’t have people to come back to for holidays or anything,” Gnech said. “They see a lot of things there that normal people wouldn’t see. They need someone to comfort them.”