This year Oswego County BOCES is showing its support for our community currently overseas by adopting a U.S. Army platoon. The ECO 2-10 Aviation platoon will be stationed in the Kirk Province, just 20 miles north of Baghdad. Before leaving for Iraq, some of the platoon members took time out to visit Oswego County BOCES on October 2, 2008. During their visit they were given a tour of the school and were able to introduce themselves to students and staff, share personal experiences, as well as provide further information on what items are in high demand for soldiers stationed in the Middle East.
Since the platoon’s October visit, holiday donation collection boxes were distributed throughout the school. Collection of donations started on Friday, November 7th, as all donations had to be sent out by mid November to guarantee that they would reach the platoon by the holidays. On Friday morning, an outpouring of items flooded to the B. Ramer Technical Career Center, including drink flavor packets, books, toiletries, gum, cleansing wipes, holiday cards, office supplies, and various tasty treats.
The turnout was bigger than anyone would have imagined. Hundreds of items, totaling 26 boxes of supplies were collected and sent out to Iraq. In addition, $395 was raised to help cover the cost of shipping the items overseas. A 10-foot long banner which read “We support you ECO 02-10 Aviation Platoon” was created for the soldiers to hang in their barracks that students, staff and members of the public were given the opportunity to sign. Linda Knowles, English Teacher/Consultant at Oswego County BOCES was among the many staff members and students that helped collect and box donated items. She was surprised by the overwhelming participation and further explained, “No one expected a turnout like this. It is amazing the generosity and support that people have shown. It touches my heart.”