Carol Megathlin doesn’t want to see any soldiers forgotten.
That's why the Georgia writer started the Adopt-A-Soldier program which matches deployed troops from the U.S. Army’s 3rd Infantry Division from Ft. Stewart with local civilians from nearby Savannah, Ga., MSNBC.com reports.
“I wanted to really be a part of the war effort,” she told the news outlet, “I wanted to contribute in some concrete way.”
Since the program began six years ago, Megathlin estimates 15,000 soldiers have been paired with civilians and have received care packages, cards and letters while serving in Afghanistan, she told the news outlet.
Megathlin sets up a sign-up table at the base on the day the soldiers get deployed. Later, she matches the soldier with a sponsor, according to the program’s website.
“It's crazy but you can kind of count on your family and friends, but to have someone you have never met write you and send you things, it really makes you believe in what you are doing and it actually kind of motivates us,” Private First Class Curtis Grace wrote in a letter to his sponsor Anne Campbell after a soldier in his unit was killed.
Campbell, who sent Grace a Kindle during his nine-month deployment, has formed a strong bond with the young soldier, she told WSAV.
“Because they're over there fighting and a lot of them feel like they get forgotten because the American public has forgotten that we're still at war with Afghanistan,” she told WJCL on her reasons for adopting Grace and two other soldiers with the program.