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Adopted squadron thanks WKU offices for support during deployment

Army Command Sergeant Major John Brownell presented the Department of Kinesiology, Recreation and Sport (KRS) and the WKU ALIVE Center with a certificate of appreciation for their support of his squadron’s deployment overseas. Above left: Dr. Randy Deere accepted the certificate on behalf of KRS. Above right: Director Leah Ashwill accepted on behalf of the WKU ALIVE Center.

Army Command Sergeant Major John Brownell honored two WKU departments Monday, following his squadron’s return from Afghanistan.

Brownell presented a certificate of appreciation to the WKU Department of Kinesiology, Recreation and Sport (KRS) and to the WKU ALIVE Center for Community Partnerships on behalf of the 6-4 Cav, Brownell’s squadron from Fort Knox that spent the past year serving overseas. KRS adopted the squadron after learning that Brownell, a WKU alumnus and current graduate student, would lead the squadron.

Brownell is working on an MS in Recreation and Sport Administration with a concentration in Athletic Administration and Coaching, a program administered by WKU Cohort Programs. Determined to help a fellow student, KRS faculty, staff and students worked with Cohort Programs staff to gather donations and ship numerous care packages throughout the deployment. They partnered with The ALIVE Center, which served as the drop-off location, creating a convenient place for the entire community to get involved.

Brownell presented the certificates to both departments for their support of the entire squadron, which included more than 750 soldiers. Throughout the deployment, WKU Cohort Programs shipped 85 boxes filled with much-needed items, which included everything from deodorant, body wash, shaving cream and razors to socks, towels and 3-in-1 laundry sheets, which Brownell said were the most popular item.

“Laundry is a challenge at such a remote camp, and we only had 12 washers and dryers” he said. Cohort Programs responded with a shipment of 55,000 laundry sheets donated by Sun Products’ Bowling Green manufacturing facility. “All the items we received made the quality of life so much better,” he added.

Leah Ashwill, director of the WKU ALIVE Center, said she and her staff were thrilled to assist in the project. “It was truly an honor to work with others from the WKU campus and this community to support our servicemen and women,” Ashwill said.

Brownell, who is scheduled to officially retire July 1, said that the squadron returned stateside in December. When asked what he planned to do next, Brownell said that he has three priorities: “To spend time with my family, finish my degree and find a job.” He begins his transition into retirement in March and will complete his master’s degree this summer.

Contact: Susan Esters, (270) 745-8922

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