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MIDDLETOWN, R.I. - Naval War College Joint Military Operations (JMO) faculty worked with undergraduate students from Newport’s Salve Regina University and disabled citizens at the Maher Center to make 45 care packages for soldiers stationed in Afghanistan, on Oct. 22.

“(The soldiers) support us unwaveringly,” said U.S. Army Col. Scott Efflandt, one of the JMO faculty members present at the event. “The least we can do is reciprocate when we get the chance to.”

U.S. Army Cols. Brian Rogers, Scott Efflandt, Greg Reilly, and Tom Heaney gathered with about two dozen students as part of Salve Regina’s mission to integrate the values of "harmony, justice, and mercy" in a Sociological Perspectives class. 

“I find it incredibly rewarding to work with these students, and to realize the depth of their caring and compassion for deployed soldiers,” Col. Efflandt said.

The students learned that despite different views in societies, there are certain values that need defending because they are intrinsic to the human condition.

Efflandt said outreach programs provide community service opportunities, key to their professional duties as a military officer. “We care both about the community and the people deployed,” Efflandt said. “And it shows the public that we’re an integrated agency, with the Army at the Naval War College.”

Through the Salve Regina project coordinator, adjunct professor Mea Simanski, the Maher Center in Middletown hosted the collaborative effort. Thirty-five coeds were each paired with a disabled person and worked together to get the boxes filled and prepared for mailing by JMO faculty.

To personalize the packages, students included personal letters to the Soldiers, a holiday card made in mentorship, and a group photo of the project’s participants.

Submitted by JMO Department