Community Unites to Honor Veterans and Active Service Members
Students, faculty and staff across campuses donated goods, money and time to honor service members and veterans
Despite the somber glow from a devastating wildfire nearby, Gallagher Hall flourished with activity, from the screeching of packing tape across boxes to the chattering of students, faculty and staff as they organized into care package assembly lines.
On this Friday before Veterans Day, this scene played out the same across all four of the School’s campuses and program locations. In partnership with Sacramento Blue Star Moms, the donations will be sent to service members currently deployed, many of whom will likely be spending the holidays on the front lines — an experience several in the Graduate School community know well.
For Brandon Quackenbush MBA 19, who served in the U.S. Navy for six years as a nuclear power plant operator aboard aircraft carriers, it’s important to give back.
“During my own time on deployment, we received these packages from different groups and it was always exciting to get mail when you’re out there,” he said. “The comforts of home aren’t always there. It’s the little things like having Top Ramen just to break up the monotony of the white rice and pork chops every night.”
Along with dried goods like beef jerky and granola bars, the packages included toothbrushes, post cards to mail, lip balm, instant coffee and much more. Each package also delivered a note of appreciation and support from the volunteers.
“These little things mean a lot when you’re away from your family and your home, even just reading a hand-written note from somebody you don’t know,” said Adam Tanner MBA 20.
Tanner, married with a baby on the way, has served more than seven years in the U.S. Coast Guard and is still on active duty as he earns his MBA degree.
“We have some veterans in our midst and we would like to honor them and thank them,” said Dean Rao Unnava, pausing to reflect as he helped clean up after the flurry of packaging. “And the way we would like to do that is by contributing to others who are still out there fighting for our country.”