Academy Students Reach Out to Troops Abroad - Veterans Affairs Acquisition Academy (VAAA)
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Veterans Affairs Acquisition Academy (VAAA)


Academy Students Reach Out to Troops Abroad

November 25, 2009

Picture of Soldier and student shaking handsVA Acquisition Academy students recently partnered with a local non-profit organization and several Frederick County Public Schools in a letter writing campaign to thank U.S. troops stationed abroad during the holidays.  Students at participating schools wrote holiday cards and letters to our men and women stationed overseas.  On Wednesday, November 25, 2009, Academy students stuffed and mailed 1,700 letters to U.S. service members.

Picture of student activityAcademy student Zebulon Fox, a member of the U.S. Army Reserves, donned his uniform and kicked off the program on Veterans Day by addressing students during morning announcements via closed circuit television at Urbana Elementary School.  Students and staff responded with resounding applause.

“I had goose bumps when he finished,” said fellow Academy student Kevin Armilotti.  “You could hear the whole school applauding.”

Robert Moss, Academy student and fellow Veteran, summed up the reasons for the project.  “I reminded them of how important it was to send a letter to soldiers during the holidays.  I’ve been there, I know how it feels.”

Picture of Soldier in front of classroomStudents from the VA Acquisition Academy are part of the Acquisition Internship School which differs from most traditional acquisition intern programs through its holistic approach and emphasis on mission service, leadership, interpersonal, and communication skills development in addition to technical contracting skills.  As part of the program, students are tasked with developing and participating in mission service projects to help students connect with the mission of serving Veterans.

Picture of group activity“We are dedicated to serving Veterans, and the men and women who voluntarily and selflessly serve our nation will someday become Veterans themselves,” said Melissa Starinsky, Vice Chancellor for the Internship School.  “We instill mission service in the program to help students connect with the mission of serving Veterans.”

“I was pleased to learn that the group surpassed their goal by 400 letters,” said Lisa Doyle, Chancellor of the Academy.  “It means a lot to our service members who are away from home during the holidays to know that we are thinking of them and appreciate the sacrifices they make for us,” she said.

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