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  • Courtesy photos of Homefront Heroes.


    The "Homefront Heroes" group of students at Nashua High School South designed a stone monument to honor New Hampshire troops. The stone will be engraved with these measurements later this month at Hudson Monuments and will be placed at the high school in May.
  • A small group of students at Nashua High School South, known as Homefront Heroes, have worked hard to make life easier for New Hampshire troops overseas. Here is the group's logo, a combination of the South Panther mascot, the American flag, and military camouflage.
  • Homefront Heroes, a group of Nashua High School South students, makes care packages, sometimes with fresh, homemade cookies, and ships them off to active military members from New Hampshire. These two men snapped a photo and posted it to the Homefront Heroes Facebook page.
  • Staff photo by Don Himsel


    Alex Camire, left, and Clif Ward show off the large piece of granite Friday, April 13, 2012. that will become a memorial outside of Nashua High School south.
Sunday, April 15, 2012

Nashua South students design stone monument to honor military

In the form of a heavy, 5-foot-long stone, Nashua High School South will send a lasting message of support to the United States military next month.


The stone will be engraved by Hudson Monuments later this month with the words: “Nashua High School South Supports Our Troops.” Round logos of the five military branches – Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps and Navy – will be engraved below.


Eight South seniors organized fundraisers to cover the cost of the monument and designed the engraving for the large boulder, which will be unveiled during a ceremony in front of the school on Memorial Day weekend.
The students are part of Homefront Heroes, a small group at South that began in September 2010 to help local military families and support the New Hampshire National Guard’s largest deployment since World War II.


Homefront Heroes sends care packages overseas, volunteers with local family readiness groups and the military program at Walmart, and provides help to veterans homes in Greater Nashua. Some students also offer baby-sitting services to military wives with children.


A few of the eight students have family members overseas, but several others don’t.


“They’re mainly just passionate,” said Rekha Luther, a social studies teacher at South and adviser to the group. “Just knowing so many families would be impacted, we wanted to start something where we could provide students and families with support.”


South student Elizabeth Jackson – Libby to her friends – is co-president of the group and has several family members in the military, including two cousins and two uncles. She said it has been great to support them through Homefront Heroes and to help other families, as well.


“It feels accomplishing,” said Jackson, 17, who plans to attend Marywood University in Pennsylvania this fall. “It really makes you see the other side of military families. You get to see angles of it that you never got to see personally before.”


Group members attended the Nashua School District Finance and Operations Committee meeting on March 13 to talk about their efforts and to receive approval for the monument.


The board voted unanimously to approve the monument, and several board members applauded the work of the student group.


“I’m very impressed with this,” board member Dennis Ryder said.


“I don’t remember anything like this when I was in high school,” Kim Muise said.


Luther’s boyfriend, Sgt. William Martin in the Army National Guard, appeared at the meeting to talk about how the efforts of Homefront Heroes helped him through deployments in Kuwait and Iraq in 2010.


“It was great to see a school put in that kind of effort for us,” Martin said. “It would be really great to have that commemorative monument there to show how much Nashua cares.”


Luther said the stone will be “a lasting testament” to the support offered by Homefront Heroes and the surrounding community.


“We want it there to thank the Nashua community for all their support and just show visitors and students that we really do support our troops,” Luther said.


“It shows our patriotism,” Jackson said. “It symbolizes what we’re about. It’s not just focusing on Homefront Heroes; this is our school perspective.”


Jackson said Principal Jennifer Seusing has been helpful since the group started, supporting all of their initiatives to help the military.


“She’s helped us out to be the best we can be,” Jackson said.


Luther said the unveiling ceremony is tentatively planned for Friday, May 25, at a time to be determined, leading up to the holiday weekend. The group is asking veterans and members of the public to attend and offer their support.


“Anybody in the district who’d like to show their patriotism,” senior Jessica Austin said at the committee meeting. “We’d like for maybe the chorus from our school to do a presentation and basically just show how we’re all supportive and dedicated to our military.”


Cameron Kittle can be reached at 594-6523 or ckittle@nashuatelegraph.com. Also, follow Kittle on Twitter (@Telegraph_CamK).