Through a partnership with students at Southside Middle School and the Veterans Administration, the Jaguars have distributed team memorabilia, including yearbooks, GameDays and player and The ROAR posters to American soldiers serving in Iraq.
Each day, these soldiers far from home settle into bunk spaces carving out tiny spaces they call their own, surrounding themselves with treasured items sent to them by family and friends. Children in class rooms across the country pen letters to these young service men and women.
Here in Jacksonville at Southside Middle School, Barbara Green teaches in the S.A.V.E. (Selected Alternatives for Vocational Education) program and her students have been exchanging emails and letters with soldiers stationed in Iraq since the beginning of the school year.
One of the soldiers, a sergeant in the U.S. Army named Arthur who has been stationed for nearly one year in Baghdad, shared that he was a Jaguars fan. Mrs. Green then contacted the Jaguars Foundation and shared with us the children's desire to send Jaguars memorabilia to their friend in Iraq. The Foundation supplied a big box filled with Jaguars posters, ROAR calendars, Game Day programs, Yearbooks, media guides, bumper stickers and writing pens.
After receiving his "care package" Arthur wrote back to the class thanking them and saying, "The Jaguars items and thinking about getting back to see the team play again were definite morale boosters…looking at the cheerleaders also helps!"
Arthur is also a student himself, studying mechanical engineering at Florida State and was in the middle of his second-to-last semester prior to being called-up for duty. In addition to his duties in Iraq, Arthur is also serving as a mentor to the students.
The students in the S.A.V.E. program have also participated in the Jaguars Foundation's Honor Rows program since its inception in 1996.