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A pair of Eastern Kentucky University students made the day of veterans living at St. Andrews Retirement Community on Veterans Day as they presented each one with a bag full of gifts, treats and handmade cards and letters.

EKU students Abigail Mulkey and Allie Goodlett led the efforts to collect the items as part of a class under Dr. Travis Martin. They hosted a campus-wide letter writing campaign in October, where EKU students spent a few minutes expressing their appreciation through letters, cards and drawings. In November, the pair collected a variety of items for individual care packages for the nine veterans living at the community. 

Mulkey said she believes it’s important for her generation to reach out to veterans of the older generation in order to get a first-hand account of events rather than simply reading stories on the internet. 

“We sometimes rely too much on media and articles rather than talking to the people who were actually there and have a real-life experience,” she said. Dozens of students came to the letter-writing event. 

“I was so excited for the turnout and just the excitement people had to write the letters,” Mulkey said. 

While the veterans students met with were pleased to receive gifts and letters, they were even more grateful for the students’ time. 

“I feel like our presence was much more enjoyable to them than the gift itself,” Mulkey said. “They enjoyed talking to all the college students very much.” 

The pair hopes the event will grow every year. 

“I would like to do it on a much larger scale next year, getting more of the campus involved,” Mulkey said. “I would love for it to be a yearly program.”