January 16, 2018

Junior Lauren Goldston starts Any Soldier Club

Kareena Dhillon

Online Features Editor

Mira Costa junior Lauren Goldston used her love for her brother to write the script for a new club by creating the Any Soldier Club this year at Costa.

Her club works to write heartfelt letters that will then be sent to a unit of Goldston’s choosing. The idea of the club is inspired by Goldston’s brother, Costa alum Josh Goldston, who is currently serving in the Infantry branch of the army.

“These people just genuinely want to protect the country and are so thankful to be given the opportunity to do so,” Goldston said. “Some just can’t begin to understand the sacrifice they’re making. I certainly can’t even understand what they are going through. So this is my way of making a difference and contributing to the armed forces in any way I could.”

The older Goldston enlisted in the army last February, pursuing a dream that had a large impact on the family, it was a big change for everyone, according to Goldston. At 19 years old, he is in the infantry, which consists of high combat. He originally trained at Fort Benning in Georgia, but is now stationed in Fort Lewis, Washington State.

“My brother joining the army was definitely a big moment for me personally, and my family,” Goldston said. “I saw all of the things he was doing and the stories he told me about the people he met, and why they joined the army. It was all just extremely influential.”

The club, composed of juniors and sophomores, meets every other Tuesday in English teacher Cameron Chow’s room. At the meetings, members will compose letters or talk about upcoming events and fundraising opportunities. Their last bake sale helped raise $300 said Goldston. This money will be used to buy and put together care packages of basic necessities for soldiers who do not usually have access to these outlets.

“Any Soldier Club is very important because I have known Lauren’s family for so long and I’ve grown up with her brother,” Vice President sophomore Teya Hartzel said. “This club is very important because we can provide letters to those in the army to give hope to those fighting so hard for our country.”

Goldston uses the national organization Any Soldier to connect with army officers overseas. Then she can choose who to send letters to. Officers are then able to distribute items to the desired unit. Goldston looked through different message boards to find units that don’t receive as many donations.

“This club is a reflection of how it affects her family and how he has been helping others,” club member and junior Brigitte Ahrens said. “It allows us to help those who lay down their lives for us, it’s a way for us to give back.”

In the future she hopes that with the club’s progress, Any Soldier can send letters to a wider variety of troops. She will also work to create and send care packages containing basic necessities such as toiletries over the winter break. Her goal is to have several care packages a year to send to several different soldiers, and it is just a matter of raising the proper funds.  Whether it is through writing letters or sending donations it is absolutely important that soldiers have those said Goldston.

“These men and women overseas are so isolated from basic necessities and outlets where they can get day to day necessities,” Goldston said. “The real purpose is to send them these basic necessities and help in any way we can because they are, of course, doing so much for us in America.”

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