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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

‘Aggies helping Aggies’: Cadets’ boots paid for in full after theft

Senior+Benjamin+Graham%2C+member+of+the+Corps+of+Cadets%2C+attended+Ring+Dance+prior+to+boot+theft.
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Senior Benjamin Graham, member of the Corps of Cadets, attended Ring Dance prior to boot theft.

After senior cadet Benjamin Graham’s senior Corps boots and gear were stolen earlier this month, he and his family were greeted with support from the Aggie family.
Graham’s US army gear, backpack and new senior boots were stolen from his vehicle, which was broken into while parked in Lot 40 on campus.
Graham’s mother, Jamie Cooper, sent a letter to the Federation of Texas A&M Mothers Club to raise awareness about the theft. From there, the letter made its way to Facebook.
“I had originally sent a letter to the Aggie Mothers foundation and asked if someone had seen anything,” Cooper said. “It never crossed my mind that this would happen. I didn’t even have a Facebook page at the time.”
Cooper said she received an outpouring of support.
“I had people calling from all over the United States on Friday from people wanting to donate and contribute,” Cooper said. “One of the very first calls I got was a lady who offered her husband’s boots for my son to wear, but the problem was he was a size nine, and Benjamin wears a size 15.”
Laura Travis was one of many who initially offered to donate boots to replace those that Graham had lost.
“After I saw the Facebook post I called her and we cried; I talked to her about my husband and we talked and I offered her son my husband’s boots,” Travis said. “I thought that it would be a neat idea — the seniors marching one more time in the boots of Aggies that have passed. Unfortunately the boots would’ve been too small. ”
Leo Belovoskey, Hollick’s store owner, said the store posted Cooper’s letter to their Facebook page, and some Aggie mothers soon asked to create an account to pay for Graham’s replacement boots.
“After one of the Aggie moms on our Facebook pages responded asking to contribute money, we set up an online account,” Belovoskey said. “Within about an hour it was almost filled up.”
Graham said all the support has revealed to him the value of the Aggie family, and he hopes to have an opportunity to one day return the favor.
“I feel elated just for the sheer fact that I am involved in such a good organization, and it made me feel like I need to do more and one day give back as much as the Aggie Family has given to me,” Graham said.
Cooper said the entire situation has been overwhelming and her family is grateful to be a part of the Aggie family.
“We are so appreciative,” Cooper said. “Words cannot describe being on the receiving end of something like this. It’s something new for us and we are so thankful.”

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