Red, white and music
New CIO "Tunes for our Troops" looks overseas
First-year Engineering student Kyle Liggan founded a new student organization called Tunes for Our Troops. The group aims to lead fundraising efforts to buy iPods Shuffles for active-duty military personnel overseas.
“Everyone loves music,” Liggan said. “We just hope to raise awareness for what our troops do for us and raise money to buy iPod shuffles.”
Liggan developed the idea for Tunes for Our Troops during her senior year of high school when she was tasked with carrying out an independent volunteer project.
“I wanted to do a service project, so I was doing a little bit of research and I found groups that were sending music and books overseas to the military,” Liggan said. “So I thought, ‘music is a huge part of my life and people are listening to it all the time, why not send music?’ That’s where it all started.”
Her project raised $3,058 in the course of six months, sending 57 iPod shuffles with music overseas to troops. Energized by the success, Liggan decided to continue her project at the University.
“It was very rewarding,” Liggan said. “I got a lot of emails back saying how much it meant to them that people here were thinking about them and [they] use it everyday.”
Along the same lines, Liggan hopes her campaign can educate the general public on the sacrifices made by active-duty members.
“A lot of people take [the soldiers’ contributions] for granted sometimes, and so I’d like people to be aware of the sacrifices they have made for us,” Liggan said. “It’s still important to show them that we do care.”
First-year College student JC Gamble, a member of Army ROTC, contacted Liggan about getting involved with the project after seeing it advertised on Facebook. Gamble is the organization’s military liaison.
“I’ve always had a deep respect for military and obviously I’m going to be in the military,” Gamble said. “I feel like it’s really important to continue showing the troops our support because many guys I’ve talked to who have served abroad feel like they are forgotten sometimes.”
Liggan and Gamble are currently in the process of planning publicity and fundraising efforts for the semester. In April, Tunes for Our Troops hopes to partner with the Army ROTC RJ Hess Scholarship 5K. Liggan said she is looking into partnering with a cappella groups to raise money.
“I would love to have more members because more help always makes everything easier,” Liggan said. “Right now it’s just very small scale [and we’re] trying to figure out how this process works.”
Gamble said the music may help troops feel less alone while overseas in hostile territories for months on end.
“I hope first of course that they know that they’re supported, but also that they can get a taste of home,” Gamble said. “I think life is a lot better with music and — especially in some areas of the world where our troops are deployed — any little bit that can make their lives better is important and will help.”