Cleveland State Community College student James Lone Eagle Kilgore is doing his part to bring Christmas cheer to wounded soldiers at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., by collecting Christmas cards to send to the soldiers.
Kilgore, along with his adoptive father Ernest Smith, began collecting Christmas cards at the end of November, asking his friends and classmates to sign them. Smith said that all participants have to do is sign a card. Smith and Kilgore provide the cards and will be paying the postage.
Smith said students, faculty and staff at Cleveland State have been extremely supportive of the project. Professors have also come alongside Kilgore to help him get cards signed by asking their students to sign one.
“He also took some of the cards to church (Galilee Baptist) with him last night, and quite a few of the members of the church signed them,” Smith said.
This project is close to home for Kilgore and Smith. Kilgore’s inspiration for this project is his first cousin, who was wounded in Iraq.
“He was a sergeant leading a convoy, hit a roadside bomb and is disabled for the rest of his life,” Smith said.
Kilgore said he and Smith have collected approximately 450 cards signed by different people.
They are not exactly sure when they will be mailing out the cards, but Smith said they will definitely have them delivered by Dec. 24, and hope to be able to send 500 cards.
“It would be nice if there were more than that,” Smith said.
For soldiers still recovering, the holidays can be especially hard when family and friends cannot visit them. Christmas cards to wounded soldiers can be sent to A Recovering American Soldier, c/o Walter Reed Army Medical Center, 6900 Georgia Ave. N.W., Washington, D.C., 20307.