SPARTA, NJ - The Sparta Woman's Club is committed to supporting individuals in the military.  This month SWC collected Boatsie Christmas stockings to be sent to men and women in the military oversees.  Boatsie Boxes began in 2004 to send care packages filled with needed items to deployed military personnel.  This year 32 stockings will be sent from SWC to deployed military.  SWC has participated in this initiative for a number of years.

In addition, this month SWC saluted women in the military at their meeting. Two retired military women, Lt Colonel Susan Foy and Captain Christina Martin shared their experiences in the military.

Lt Colonel Susan Foy, a graduate of Sparta High School and the U.S. Air Force Academy spent 24 years serving our country as a pilot.  Her family is from Germany and immigrated to the United States.  As a child she dreamed of flying just as her grandfather did.  She advanced her flying through the years eventually becoming an instructor and evaluator pilot.  

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Foy was prestigiously assigned to fly special air-lift missions on the Air Force II C-32A transporting the nation's senior leaders including the Vice President, Secretary of State, First Lady, Secretary of Defense and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.    She feels very fortunate to have grown-up in the U.S. which has given her the opportunity to fulfill her childhood dream.

Captain Christina Martin, U.S. Army served active duty for five years with two tours of deployment to Iraq.  She served in the Army Reserve for three years and is currently IRR-Individual Ready Reserve, available to be called when needed.  Martin was in ROTC in high school and college and comes from a military family.

Martin commanded a military medical unit with mostly men under her command.  In that positions she unfortunately had to come to the realization that you cannot save everyone.  Martin had to make sure her emotions did not control her.  Her tours changed her own theory of what women can do.  

Martin also reminded us that coming home does not mean that the war is over.  Each day 22 veterans commit suicide.  For some veterans, it means a new battle with PTSD and there is a need to support our veterans now more than ever.

The Sparta Woman's Club commitment to the military includes the NJ State Federation of Women's Club two year project for 2014-2016 of assisting the National Alliance of Mental Illness, the nation's largest grass root organization to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness.  NAMI has specific programs for veterans and active duty personnel in dealing with PTSD, depression and traumatic brain injury.

“The Sparta Woman's Club has supported NAMI NJ by selling candy bars to assist in their projects.  To date we have contributed $3,500 to NAMI NJ,” said Mary Cannistra.

Merchants in Sussex County that assist SWC in these efforts to help NAMI NJ include Frank's Pizza, UPS and Designer Jeans Salon in Sparta, Professional Tire in Newton and Yetter's Diner in Augusta.  Individuals can purchase a candy bar at these places and help SWC continue their support of our veterans.

SWC is actively seeking new members, welcomin women from many townships in Sussex and Morris counties.  For further information about membership, please callTa Membership Chair, Helene McGill at 862-268-0306.