Longhorn Council and Joshua Chamberlain Society team up to help injured soldiers


Debra Klevens

Junior Mary Galkowski and Sergeant Joshua Eckhoff walk into the middle of the gym during the fall pep rally.

With severe head injuries and in need of assistance, Parkway graduate Sergeant Joshua Eckhoff returned from war in Afghanistan. Eckhoff was in need of transportation to rehabilitation appointments and college, which the Joshua Chamberlain Society provided to him.

“What sets the Joshua Chamberlain Society apart from other wounded warrior charities is that we have life-long commitments to our heroes,” President of the JCS Matthew Cutler said.“Many other great charities do a little bit for many veterans; JCS takes a long-term, deep commitment to as many veterans as possible.”

To raise money, the Longhorn Council hosted monetary collections at Powder Puff, football games and at the Taste of West.

“So far West has raised $2 thousand, and I am planning  to have more collections at basketball games, Mr. Longhorn and other West events,” Teacher Annie Wayland said. “The Longhorn Council has been the main force in helping to pull this off.”

In the past 10 years 21 alumni have joined the military.

“Mr. Kessler came up with a couple charities West could help, and I decided to choose this one because I liked the idea of helping people in our own community,” Wayland said, “When I chose this charity I realized how personal this became for many families because they have had their family members serve.”

Junior Mary Galkowski, the philanthropy officer for the Longhorn Council, and at the Pep Assembly led Eckhoff to the middle of the gym.

“It was a incredible experience to be able to just talk to him,” Galkowski said, “ At the Pep Assembly to see everyone cheering for him warmed my heart.”

The Joshua Chamberlain Society, and volunteers have helped to remodel a bathroom for Eckhoff and heroes. Cory Remsburg.

“West is truly making a difference in the lives of these fantastic Heroes who have sacrificed so much for our country,” Cutler said. “Parkway West is leading the way by being the first school to participate in fundraising for the Joshua Chamberlain Society. The exposure from these efforts have already led JCS to be invited to other schools to spread our mission.”

The Longhorn Council will be holding a dodgeball tournament Nov. 22 to continue to support JCS.