For United States Armed service members deployed overseas, the most wonderful time of year can seem the loneliest.
On Friday, December 16, members of Regent University’s Office of Military & Veterans Affairs sent more than 40 packages with books, candy and other donations from students, faculty, staff, the Christian Broadcasting Network, and the outlying community to service people spending time away from their families this holiday season.
Adding a personal touch, students from Centerville Elementary School in Virginia Beach created hand-written Christmas cards to accompany the packages, which will be sent to deployed students, their spouses and friends of the Regent community. This is the second year the university has supported deployed military men and women.
A bedazzled tree with ornaments, twinkling lights, American flags, and yellow tags with names of those receiving gifts sits in the corner of Regent’s Military Resource Center.
This, along with a map on the wall indicating where military students are stationed all around the world, keeps the mission a little closer to home for senior director of Traditional Admissions and Military, Bob Habib.
As a United States Army veteran, Habib has vivid memories of being away from his friends and family members during the time when America’s cultural and historical focus is on togetherness.
“It brings a sense of home,” said Habib, who explained that much of the traditional ‘Christmas cheer’ is missing from the season for those serving overseas. Packages like those sent from Regent’s Military Resource Center are a happy reprieve among the challenges of deployment.
“A lot of times the packages that were the most meaningful were the ones sent to our unit from a school or organization that we knew nothing about,” said Habit. “They’d say, ‘We know you’re missing this part of the United States and this is our way to say thank you.’ It’s a reminder of why you do what you do.”
Learn more about Regent University’s Office of Military & Veterans Affairs.