Students and staff at the University of Wisconsin-Superior are collecting treats for a fellow student deployed to Iraq, and that's no trick.
Staff Sgt. David Daley of Siren is serving with the Wisconsin Army National Guard's 147th Aviation Regiment of Madison. This is the history major's fifth overseas deployment.
"Not many people can say they've been deployed five times, maybe a couple hundred," said Monte Stewart, student services coordinator with the UWS Veteran and Nontraditional Student Center. "It's a huge accomplishment."
Originally from Utah, Daley served 12 years of active service in the U.S. Army before moving to Wisconsin with his wife and two daughters. He's been enrolled at UWS since last fall, but deployed the end of April. Stewart said Daley will serve overseas for a year.
Members of the center started talking about sending him a taste of home.
"He's really made a big impact on us," Stewart said. "He brings a really positive, light-hearted attitude; he's really open to other perspectives."
He described Daley as a jokester who is "able to create rapport with anyone he comes into contact with."
The center is collecting community donations to add to their care package. In particular, they're looking for nonperishable snacks, beef jerky, liquid beverage mixes like Mio, protein bars and candy ranging from sour to sweet. Chocolate isn't advised because it tends to melt en route.
New or gently-used paperbacks, magazines, crossword and Sudoku books are also needed. They should be travel-appropriate, however.
"No smut," Stewart said.
Fellow students and veterans are also sending letters, small gifts and some inside jokes that should bring a smile.
Donations are being accepted at the center — Room 118 of Old Main — through Tuesday.
"The more we get, the more we'll send out," Stewart said. "I know what he gets he'll share. That's the kind of guy he is."
Nontraditional students — a term that encompasses veterans, parents and students age 25 and older — make up 40 percent of the campus population, according to Stewart. The public liberal arts college has just shy of 130 veterans enrolled.
For more information, call Stewart at (715) 394-8406, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the UW-Superior Veteran and Nontraditional Student Center Facebook page.