The Catholic University of America

Aug. 22, 2007

CUA Sophomore Raises More Than $3,500 for Soldiers at Walter Reed

Sophomore Maureen Martin scoops ice cream at her fundraiser for Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
Maureen Martin of Hanover, Md., is already back on campus, getting ready for her second year at CUA, where she serves as sophomore class president, swims with the women's varsity team and pursues her studies as a politics major.

As Martin, 19, prepares for the new school year, which starts Aug. 27, her father, U.S. Army Col. Andrew Martin, is serving in Iraq as the commander of a military intelligence unit. Mindful of her dad, who is expected to be there for 12 to 15 months, Martin raised more than $3,500 this summer for wounded soldiers who are being treated at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Northwest Washington, D.C.

Martin raised the funds by organizing a Lap-A-Thon, held July 27 at the Gaffney Fitness Center at Fort George G. Meade in Fort Meade, Md. Martin and 45 other members of the Fort Meade Dolphins swim team swam up to 100 laps in an hour for the event. With the money given by donors sponsoring the swimmers, Martin bought care package supplies for 20 wounded soldiers at Walter Reed.

Martin, who worked as a lifeguard at the fitness center this summer, spent Aug. 1 - her 19th birthday - filling care packages that included personal letters, board games, puzzle books and a $10 calling card. On Aug. 3 she personally delivered the care packages to soldiers in their rooms and in occupational and physical therapy facilities at Walter Reed.

The day before the fundraiser, Martin and members of her family set up a table at the Fort Meade Commissary, providing stationery for people who wanted to write letters to soldiers stationed in Iraq. Martin, whose extended family includes several West Point graduates now serving in the military, said she will pay for postage to send the letters, along with donated stickers, to the Middle Eastern country.

Last Easter, Martin and fellow members of a Catholic University RENEW prayer group sent letters to her uncle's military unit, which was stationed in Iraq at the time. The RENEW program, which is sponsored by CUA's Office of Campus Ministry, enables students to come together for prayer, service and friendship.

In July, Martin had a doctor's appointment at Walter Reed. The CUA sophomore said she was touched when she saw an amputee waiting in line to have blood drawn. "I wanted to do something for the troops," she said. "I think it's important to recognize the soldiers who have returned to the States after being wounded."

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The Catholic University of America, located in the heart of Washington, D.C., is unique as the national university of the Catholic Church in America. Founded in 1887 and chartered by Congress, the university opened as a graduate research institution. Undergraduate programs were introduced in 1904. Today the private and coeducational institution has approximately 6,100 undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in 12 schools including architecture and planning, arts and sciences, canon law, engineering, law, library and information science, music, nursing, philosophy, social service, theology and religious studies, and a college for adult learners.

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