Nightly News | January 06, 2013
>>> few military units have marched off to war more than the army's 3rd infantry division , which is currently commanding security operations in southern afghanistan . to the folks who live around the 3rd id 's home base near savannah, georgia, members of the division are more than soldiers, they are neighbors, they are part of the community. tonight, we have a story of one woman on the homefront who is making a difference for the local troops when they are far from home . dawn on a recent friday, a ritual that has become all too familiar at airfields like this across the country, deployment day.
>> check your battle buddy .
>> reporter: it's a detroit men and women serving in the united states armed forces know by heart, so does carol, a retiree and private citizen, who has attended almost every deployment of the army's 3rd infantry division since 2007 .
>> i wanted to really be involved in the war effort . i mean, i you wanted to contribute some concrete way.
>> reporter: carol's contribution, pairing service members deploying to war zones with what she calls adopted families, or sponsors.
>> they just want contact with ordinary civilian life. that's what we try to provide.
>> reporter: since starting the adopt a soldier program nearly six years ago, carol estimates the number of service members who have been adopted has surpassed 15,000.
>> i thought it would be a good program for new soldiers like myself that would love to receive mail over in afghanistan .
>> it's always good to feel appreciated. and see the people that are supporting us that believe in us.
>> reporter: cards, care packages and letters are sent by families to soldiers eager for reminders of home.
>> thank you for your service. you have given the ultimate sacrifice.
>> reporter: whether a care package from the state up our a simple thanks from a stranger, these acts of kindness go a long way here on the frontlines, as we found in afghanistan this fall.
>> there are people all across the globe that are supporting us in their own way.
>> this stuff means something, doesn't it?
>> it really does.
>> goes a long way?
>> absolutely. because they are recognizing soldiers for their service.
>> reporter: and for sponsors, like jody and david dubek, who organize regular packing parties with their neighbors, recognizing service members has become quite personal.
>> you relate to a lot of them like a mother and really just there to protect their family and their country.
>> you think the hardships that they are under and the risks they take, sending a few slim jims , it's not ral big deal .
>> reporter: a simple gift that goes a very long way.
>> so, thank you for your service lately.
>> we are told the adopt a soldier program has created a fair number of friendships that last well beyond the