122nd Security Forces thanks Indiana University East

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Kurt Briner
  • 122nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Indiana University East's Student Veterans Organization received a community support award from the 122nd Security Forces Squadron, March 7, 2015 at the 122nd Fighter Wing, Fort Wayne, Indiana.

The SVO made the trip up from Richmond, Indiana to meet some of the recently deployed members that received the group's care packages sent during their six-month deployment to Qatar.

After an absence of four years on the Indiana University East campus, the 122nd SFS deployment was the first military mobilization the newly reorganized group has sponsored.

"We are all veterans," said Darrell Johnson, president of the SVO, speaking about his staff at IU East. "We've been deployed before and we know just how much that beef jerky or extra blanket can mean to troops."

In addition to the standard care package fair, the group sent IU sweatshirts, T-shirts, and caps to the Security Forces members. They worked with several organizations in the Evansville area to collect, box and ship the items. To provide something more permanent, the SVO created a custom banner with the unit crest and made it available for students to sign.

"We're searching for a home for this banner now," said Staff Sgt. Marcus Bills, 122nd Security Forces Squadron technician and member of the deployed team. "We'll make sure it's somewhere everyone can see it."

As an additional gesture of gratitude, the unit members flew a U.S. flag at one of the team's operational locations overseas and presented it to the SVO, along with the squadron commander's challenge coin.

"We were in the unique situation of being able to fly this flag ourselves," said Master Sgt. Curtis Kaufmann, mission coordinator for the team. "We are truly grateful and happy to present this to them."

As a chapter of the national organization, the SVO team at Indiana University East advocates and strives to provide a strong support network for student veterans, current service members and their family members.