Senior brings awareness to veterans and first responders


Connor Gunn '23

Luke Burns hopes to spark awareness for veterans with the Spartans For Hero’s Shirt Campaign

Chris Hubert, Staff Writer

As the group of veterans and first responders eat and laugh together, the room is crowded with loud conversations. Nothing but smiles stretched across the face of this room. The expectation to make these men and women feel appreciated was more than achieved.

Spartans for Heroes is a club created five years ago by Micheal Cutler ‘21. Soon after graduating, Cutler passed the reigns of the club down the line, thus featuring Luke Burns ‘23 as the club’s current president.

“The point of this club is to support and raise awareness for veterans and first responders],” Luke said. “The opportunity for us to give these people extra care and support feels like the right thing to do.”

Luke’s family had been involved in the Spartans for Heroes program for close to before Luke was admitted into De Smet. Cutler, the previous leader, was Luke’s cousin. While the Cutler family is also involved in the club, Matt Cutler, Michael’s dad, is in charge of the Joshua Chamberlain Society.

“The club raised almost $700 selling tee-shirts which was donated to the Josh Chamberlain society, or JSC,” Luke said. “It’s a charity that helps wounded veterans get back on their feet.”

The club has done five events so far, consisting of events such as trivia, “Shoot for the Troops” (or skeet shooting for the troops), an event offering donuts and coffee and lounging, as well as a lounge for Veteran’s Day.

“This is a great club for supporting our heroes,” Matt Cutler said, “and teaching young men the importance of veterans and first responders.”

This club can offer these first responders and veterans more opportunities in the community to feel welcomed and appreciated.

“I think this club really helps veterans and first responders and raises awareness for these men and women. It’s something good we can do for the community,” Luke said. “I think this is a great way of keeping up with their mental health and we definitely won’t stop here.”