Letters home from today’s soldiers might be written on a “Freedom Pen.” This woodturning project is the brainchild of the Sawmill Creek Woodworkers Forum, who held a nationwide turning event last Saturday, June 26, at Rockler Woodworking and Hardware‘s 34 retail stores.
Rockler provided the pen kits, wood and lathes for everyone who showed up for the Freedom Pens Projects Turn-A-Thon. Turners from age six on up created more than 4,000 custom handcrafted pens to be shipped to U.S. men and women serving in combat zones overseas.
Rockler’s Arlington, Texas, store manager, Robert Pearson, said that several six to 16-year-olds were first-time turners, as were some senior citizens. In California, Marines from Camp Pendleton participated in the project to create pens for their comrades-in-arms, as did members of the El Camino Woodturners Group.
“Each person filled out a card for their donated pen to the troops,” which could include the ages of the young turners, or whatever message a person wanted to send, Robert said. “The purpose of the event was never lost.”
Keith Outten is the Freedom Pens Project administrator. “When one of our handmade writing instruments is used to write a letter home it is a symbol of our support and physical evidence that the people of America care deeply about their safety and are praying for their safe return home,” he explained. “Every Freedom Pen that is delivered will serve as a constant reminder to our troops that they are not alone and will have our continued support.”
The project’s goal is to complete more than 20,000 custom pens.