Woodcraft Encourages Volunteers to Participate In the 12th Turn for Troops National Turn-a-Thon

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Send a personal thank-you message to an American serving in the U.S. Military by turning a pen in Woodcraft’s 12th Turn for Troops National Turn-a-Thon the weekend of Nov. 6-7.

Pens are distributed to American military personnel on active duty or recovering in a rehabilitation center. Contact the Woodcraft store nearest you for more details.

American military personnel continue to serve around the world in many foreign nations and often in harm’s way. Many more are recovering in rehabilitation centers from service-related injuries and issues. 

Sailors deployed on the USS Carl Vinson received several of the wood pens handcrafted during the 2014 Turn for Troops events, as seen here admiring the workmanship of their new writing instruments.

Since the turn-a-thon began, Woodcraft customers and Woodcraft retail store staff members have donated their time to turn 126,836 one-of-a-kind, handcrafted writing instruments to thank these men and women for their sacrifice in serving. Of that total, 7,347 have been turned so far in 2015 (some stores hold more than one turning event, while some volunteers turn pens all year on their own).

This photo at right shows just a handful of the beautiful pens created by Woodcraft staff, customers and volunteers who wish to thank U.S. service personnel with a handcrafted gift from home.


Turners are encouraged to also write a thank-you note to accompany each pen. Many pen recipients also write thank-you notes to Woodcraft, like the one below.

“I would like to express my thanks for your kindness, generosity and support of our Forces abroad. I am a Sailor on board the USS CARL VINSON, currently deployed, and one of many on board to receive a beautifully turned pen. What a nice surprise, and one that will be remembered. It’s the little things that can make a big difference for a deployed service member, and remind us that we are not forgotten back home.”

Sometimes turners who include their names and contact information receive thank-you notes directly, like this one to Alan Haught, mayor of Harrisville, West Virginia, (pictured at left in his home workshop) who turns many pens each year.  

“I’d like to personally thank you for your support. I know you don’t have to do this, and to receive any small token from home really does mean a lot to the Sailors who are deployed during the holidays. As a Mass Communication Specialist, I am basically a journalist for the Navy. We do photography, videography, graphic design, print journalism, broadcasting, public affairs … we pretty much do it all. That being said, it is part of my uniform to ALWAYS have a pen on me. So having such a masterful writing tool means a lot to me.”


The father of a son who served two decades in military service, Haught has extra insight into the sacrifices made by military personnel and their families. Haught estimates he has made 500-600 pens over the years for troops, and several thousand pens overall since he began turning.

When submitting Turn for Troops pens, Haught says, “I like to let them know that there are people who care and think about them. I put a card in with the pen and tell what kind of wood it is. I name the wood to give them a sense of something back home.”

“Woodcraft looks forward to another successful national turn-a-thon and commends the many, many volunteers like Mayor Haught who return each year to keep the pens coming for the troops,” Woodcraft president Jody Garrett said. “The cooperation of the Woodcraft stores that host the turn-a-thons is also greatly appreciated.”

Another way to help support our military veterans is with the purchase of Fisch Pen Maker’s Bits at Woodcraft during the month of November. Affinity Tool Works will donate $1 for each purchase of any sku# listed below to VET programs and charities. Buy any of these Fisch bits to help make a difference!

154741  7mm
154742  10mm
154743  3/8″
154744  25/64″
154745  27/64″
154746  15/32″
154747  31/64″
154748  33/64″
154749  Letter “O”
161199  5-piece set

If you have never turned a pen but want to learn, check with your local store about instructions the day of the turn-a-thon or about pen making classes. We hope you’ll be inspired! 

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