PORTSMOUTH, N.H. -- Members of the University of New Hampshire men and women’s basketball teams gathered to meet members of the armed forces that were departing and arriving into Pease International Tradeport over the summer.
The Wildcats work with the Pease Greeters, a volunteer organization that has welcomed military servicemen and women with applause, music, food, gifts, services and more since 2012. The Pease Greeters and Seacoast community have acknowledged over 600 departures and arrivals into Pease International Tradeport since 2008.
The mission of the Pease Greeters is to usher soldiers passing through Pease International Tradeport on their way to, or from, Afghanistan, Iraq or any other areas of conflict in the world. The organization also aims to create an environment that reflects the respect and high esteem they hold all veterans.
"Volunteering with the Pease Greeters is an amazing experience,” said rising senior forward Kaylee Kilpatrick (Saint John, New Brunswick). “You always hear about everything the troops do, protecting the country and keeping us safe. However, talking to the troops about their tour or wishing them the best as they leave is a moving experience. The troops are so appreciative of what we do for them, but our eyes are opened to everything they do for us and we are so grateful for that."
“This is the second time we have worked with the Pease Greeters this year and we love doing it,” said rising senior guard Tommy McDonnell (Durham, N.H.). “To be some of the first people these men and women see on their arrival home on U.S. soil is really a special moment and we are just glad to be a part of it.”
Pease Greeters strive to promote broad participation by the general public in this welcoming of heroes, paying special attention to educating children by instilling respect and admiration for the troops through formal ceremonies for each flight.
For more information about the Pease Greeters, be sure to visit PeaseGreeters.org. For more information about UNH athletics and Wildcats in the Community, please log onto UNHWildcats.com and look for the Wildcats in the Community page presented by Kennebunk Savings.