Just before getting on the plane to begin his journey into combat, he stopped by the Adopt-a-Soldier table at Hunter Army Air Field in Savannah. He carefully filled out his sign-up card, hoping that a patriotic civilian would “sponsor” him with letters, emails and care packages while he was off fighting for our country.
That patriotic sponsor turned out to be Anne of Newnan, Ga. Anne has been supporting our 3rd Infantry Division troops for the past couple of years so she knew just what to say to PFC Grace in her first email to him. In the past five months they have become fast friends. He apologizes if his responses to her emails are long in coming. There’s the combat issue to deal with.
HUNDREDS of troops like PFC Grace are deploying to Afghanistan right now. They cluster at the Adopt-a-Soldier table, securing their rifle straps before they bend to fill out their cards
Volunteering to support a soldier in combat is not for the faint of heart. If the war seems remote, hazy, and vaguely irrelevant to your life, check out www.icasualties.org. Click on Operation Enduring Freedom/Afghanistan. Then click on “Fatalities.” What you will see are not mere numbers.
Right now there are more than 100 soldiers waiting to be adopted. By Christmas, there will be 800 to 1,000 of them as the 3rd ID’s Combat Aviation Brigade and Sustainment Brigade deploy.
If you are committed to letting these soldiers know that they have not been forgotten, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or visit www.adoptasoldier3id.com to see what we’re all about. I will assign you a soldier in combat to support for the duration of his or her deployment.
If you’re on the fence about this idea, consider what PFC Grace wrote to Anne after a soldier in his unit had been killed in action.
Sorry I have not written for a bit. We have just gotten off of a Battalion mission and have been very, very busy the past few weeks and things have been really rough.
Cpl Luxmore was in our unit, stationed here at Sperwan Ghar, and a member of 3rd Platoon (I am in 1st). I did not know him well, but it is no less sad for me and no less troubling. It really resonated deep with everyone here on the COP, and the memorial service was very, very hard on everyone. Lux was held in high regard here, and he will be very deeply missed.
We’ve lost a great soldier in Luxmore, and over the past 3 weeks we lost 3 other great soldiers (not assigned to our unit, but attachments we were working with) in combat. I hate that I will have to attend 2 memorial services in one week. Its very stressful here right now, we are working our asses off trying to make what we do relevant.
If you pass anything along to the other sponsors, tell them that their support is huge to us, the care packages lift everyone’s spirits and its great to have the support of strangers. 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.
I hope all is well with you back home, and I look forward to hearing back from you!
Carol Megathlin of Savannah is a University of Georgia graduate and the retired public-information officer for the Skidaway Institute of Oceanography.