High School Heroes: Midvale teen gathers ‘Blankets for Boots'

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SALT LAKE CITY -- Many Utahns celebrated Veterans Day Thursday by honoring those who have sacrificed and served our country, but 17-year-old Hillcrest High School student Jacque Mulholland took it one giant step further.

Jacque organized the Blankets for Boots campaign to honor our military veterans. Through Facebook and numerous e-mails, nearly 1,000 blankets were donated from all over the country, filling 70 boxes.

Jacque says she's a proud American and comes from a long line of veterans.

"I just think it's so great to be able to tell people that 'you're doing something amazing and that we really appreciate it;' because without them doing those things, I wouldn't be able to be doing the things I do the rest of my life," she said.

"The blanket, for us, it was like a symbol of a hug," Jacque continued. "You know, you wrap it around yourself and it's warm and comforting."

That comfort was greatly appreciated.

"I've been working hard to try and get myself recovered from this stroke so I can get a heart transplant," Gulf War veteran Doug Wiley said. "It really brings me up, I mean just to get something like this from somebody just because I'm a veteran, you know?"

"I think it's great," veteran Ben Clark said. "I mean, they're nice blankets and I can always use an extra blanket, especially when it's getting cold outside. So I appreciate it a lot."

Jacque says she appreciates their service and doesn't want it to go unnoticed or unappreciated.

"Patriotism means you know what this country stands for and you know what it's worth, and you understand the great sacrifice that went into making it the way it is," Jacque says. "I hope it just shows they are loved, that they're appreciated, and that we know the great sacrifice they go through for us."

Jacque also spent $200 of her own money to have baby onesies silk-screened with the saying "MY MOMMY'S A HERO" for the expectant female veterans. She also hopes her Blankets for Boots campaign marches on for years to come.

E-mail: kaiken@ksl.com


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