Turn a Pen for a US Soldier During Woodcraft's Eighth National Turn-a-thon

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(October 2011) You can honor an American soldier by turning a wooden pen during the eighth annual Turn for Troops National Turn-a-thon at Woodcraft stores nationwide on Saturday, Nov. 12. Since the first national turn-a-thon in 2004, Woodcraft has sent a total of 75,000 (12,568 in 2010) one-a-kind wood pens to American service personnel actively deployed overseas and in rehabilitation facilities in the US. In addition to the annual turn-a-thon, some stores schedule multiple Turn for Troops events, and many Woodcraft customers and employees turn pens on their own. Often turners will include a personal note to the soldier who will receive the pen. 

Thank-you notes from service men and women attest to the value of this volunteer effort.

From Afghanistan: “A couple of days ago, at a lunch for military chaplains here in Afghanistan, my assistant and I received one of your wooden pens. I am presently the chaplain for a Marine squadron that hasn’t quite gotten to the halfway point of our deployment. To say that I was amazed by such a gift is an understatement. Literally, my first thought was where did these come from and how can I get some for my Marines and handful of Sailors? … For someone to sit down and take the time to turn out such a quality gift means that during that time we were on their minds. A true labor of love and respect.”

From Iraq: “I just wanted to say thank you to the staff and customers who helped in the Turn for Troops. Myself and my platoon received a shipment of your pens. I also wanted to let you know all the support we receive from the states is well appreciated. It makes a big difference knowing we are not alone out here, and the good folks back home such as yourselves make that happen.” From the US: “Sir, I would like to thank you for your donation of these wood pens. They are GREAT. I was hurt in Iraq and now will be medically retiring from the army. I will always walk with a cane. Thanks again.”

According to Woodcraft President Jeff Forbes, “Using basic lathe skills, anyone can produce a good quality pen for our troops quickly. A first pen project takes about 30 to 45 minutes, but after creating a few pens this time can drop down to just 15 minutes each. We hope that this year volunteers will turn more pens so that even more soldiers can be reminded that their sacrifices to protect our country are remembered and appreciated.”


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