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Student-athletes support troops, Operation Buckeye at annual Columbus event

COLUMBUS, Ohio – This Veterans Day a group of Ohio State student-athletes will have a deeper appreciation of the holiday after volunteering their time at the 2010 Veterans Day parade in Columbus.

Braving the wind and cold at the Veterans Day parade through Downtown Columbus Nov. 5, members of the men’s lacrosse, synchronized swimming, women’s track and field and women’s golf teams, along with several coaches, helped Operation Buckeye deliver its message of support to America’s deployed troops.

“It was a lot of fun,” Rachel Rohanna, a sophomore on the women’s golf team, said. “There were different teams involved, but it was great to work together. The crowd responded a lot to our information too.”

Operation Buckeye is a Columbus-based volunteer organization that sends care packages to the U.S. soldiers overseas. Founded in 2005, over 16,000 packages have already been distributed, with the goal of reaching 20,000 by the end of 2010.

“The student-athletes were asked the help pass out brochures along the parade route and they did an excellent job,” Richard Strait of Operation Buckeye said.  “They were a great bunch of young people. We asked for six volunteers and got 20.

“We’re extremely grateful for their participation and it was just one more way for us to help get boxes to the troops and get the word out. The student-athletes just went above and beyond and it was a wonderful experience for us and them.”

For more information on Operation Buckeye, please visit www.operationbuckeye.org.