Cameron Students Granted with a Soldier’s Wish
Two Cameron students were awarded with Soldier’s Wish at 3 p.m. Feb. 1 at the Subway restaurant on Gore Blvd.
Soldier’s Wish aims to meet the needs of veterans and active-duty military through rewards that aren’t strictly financial compensation.
According to Soldier’s Wish volunteer and veteran Mark Ochsenbein, someone will nominate an active-duty soldier or veteran to receive a wish.
“We’ll take that [nomination] and take a look at it,” Ochsenbein said, “then we go through a vetting process.”
Subway teamed up with Soldier’s Wish last year in 12 different cities throughout the nation. Subway customers were able to support Soldier’s Wish by adding a dollar amount to their purchase.
This year Lawton has two students who received the unexpected wish, receiving financial assistance from the foundation.
Sophomore business major and active-duty soldier Annie Robbins said her husband tried to keep her nomination for Soldier’s’ Wish a secret.
When she found out, she said her initial reaction was emotional.
“I cried,” Robbins said. “I’ve been an emotional wreck all day. I’ve been going from crying to being really happy like, ‘Oh my gosh, I can’t believe this is happening!’”
After being a military spouse, Robbins said she wanted to join for herself.
“My husband was in the Marine Corps,” Robbins said, “and I just kind of wanted to experience the active-duty side of it.”
Math education major Michael Demmin served 15 years in the Army and is currently in his fourth year in the Reserves.
Demmin said he was suspicious yet surprised by the day’s events.
“I didn’t know what was going on until I saw the truck out front,” Demmin said. “My first thought was, ‘Oh my God.’ I had no idea that that was going to happen to me, so I was very shocked.”
Demmin said he is very appreciative he received the nomination and gift.
“This is definitely a big step in helping me out,” Demmin said.
Soldier’s Wish helps as many veterans and active-duty military as they can.
Ochsenbein said they help about 500 soldiers each year, and they receive a lot of help from many foundations.
“We get supported throughout the U.S.,” Ochsenbein said. “People just donate to us online. They see us online or hear about us. It happens all the time.”
Ochsenbein said the best part about being a part of the organization is meeting people and being able to help.
“That’s what it [helping] is all about,” Ochsenbein said. “Especially when you’re able to help their family and their wife and children.”
He also mentioned Sgt. Greg Foster received an outdoor mobility chair to better enjoy his family life in October 2015.
More stories of wishes granted throughout the U.S. along with more about the organization can be found at their website, www.soldierswish.org where donations can be made and nominations can be submitted.