Fraternity remembers fallen soldier, sends items to troops

After collecting toiletries, magazines, pens, books and other supplies to send overseas, Phi Kappa Psi fraternity finished their First Annual Vincent M. Sullivan Memorial Drive to Support Our Troops on Nov. 12. Though the drive provided an important service through which the organization showed gratitude for those fighting to protect the nation, for the fraternity, the service was personal.

In June, Phi Kappa Psi member Brian Sullivan’s brother, Vincent, died in combat in Iraq. The 23-year old was a U.S. Marine.

According to David Nash, junior finance major, who is both a member of the fraternity and the coordinator of this event, Phi Kappa Psi began planning during the first week of October.

The fraternity sent e-mails to organizations around campus telling them what supplies they would like to collect. The brothers posted information in their America Online Instant Messenger profiles and made announcements to their classes. They also hung flyers in all of the buildings and told bosses, friends and family who do not attend the College about the drive, in hopes of collecting as many items for the soldiers as possible.

“Our goal was 1,000 items,” Nash said, adding that on Nov. 10, their goal was already exceeded.

Nash said he believes most of the drive’s success was due to word of mouth.

Nash said other campus organizations also helped the fraternity collect materials for the soldiers.

He said other fraternities and sororities and the College Union Board (CUB) gave support, donating items and letters for the soldiers.

Boxes were set up in all of the residence halls on campus as well as in Brower Student Center.

Phi Kappa Psi also picked up boxes of candy that students at Pennbury Middle School made for the soldiers, Nash said.

Nash said Mary-Elaine Perry, vice-president of Student Life, e-mailed the fraternity asking if it could help the children mail their items to the troops in Iraq. Phi Kappa Psi agreed.

Some donated money instead of supplies, which Nash said would mostly be used to buy more items at Sam’s Club before Phi Kappa Psi ships the items overseas.

The fraternity will ship the items overseas at its own expense, but might use the remains of the donated money to assist with the cost, Nash said.

“Whether or not you support the war in Iraq you should support the troops,” Nash said. “The way the world is they will continue to need help and this is our way of helping.”

Nash said Phi Kappa Psi was founded on “the great joy of serving others” and Nash is constantly trying to think of new and better ways to better serve the community.

Sullivan could not be contacted by press time, but Nash said he feels honored so many people are willing to help the troops in memory of his brother.