Student hopes to start club to connect military families

Whenever we are separated from those close to us, it leaves a void in our lives that fills with worry. That’s how Amanda Zuber felt when her best friend left for Air Force basic training in August 2011.

Zuber grew up in Proctor, Vt., and is in her fourth year at Castleton as a social work major. She is involved in the Inter Varsity Christian Fellowship, and outside of school she works as a nanny.

She comes from a family that has a history of members who have served in our armed forces. Her sister is serving in the Army and shipped off in January of 2012. Amanda is proud of her family members, but it doesn’t make it any easier to deal with.

“Having her go off to basic training was really hard to deal with,” she said. “With communication being cut off so quickly, I didn’t know who to talk to about the little things anymore.”

Zuber explained how her friend was sent off to basic training and that during the first two weeks of training, she had no communication except to close family. After two weeks, she was allowed communication through letters, and then through phone calls and Skype.

During the times when Zuber had little to no contact with her friend, she felt uncomfortable and worried. The kind of communication available between Amanda and her friend could hardly compensate for the time they used to spend together in person.

And that’s why she decided to create the Military Club at Castleton State; to give those who have friends or family in any service, support during times of difficulty.

Zuber plans to use her experiences, as well as those of others on campus who have gone through similar situations. She wants to use her club as a way to inform those in need about what their friend or family member is going through and to simply be there for those who need emotional support. She also wants to use the club as a means of raising funds to send care packages to soldiers.

But Zuber also wants to incorporate the students of Castleton who have served in our armed forces. Their knowledge and experience would be of great help to those in need, she said.

It would also give those students a chance to connect with each other around the shared experience of serving in this country’s forces.

Currently, Zuber is looking for anyone interested in joining the hoorah military club. She can be reached at All who find themselves relating to Amanda’s story or feel that they may have something to gain or contribute to it are encouraged to contact her and find out more information.

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