LONG LAKE - Members of the Newcomb Lions Club recently met with a group of soldiers who were just deployed to Southern Afghanistan. The Lions developed a unique relationship with these soldiers when they decided to "adopt" them as part of an adopt-a-platoon program introduced in 2007.
While deployed, the soldiers of the FCC Platoon of the 1-71 Cavalry Squadron of Ft. Drum will receive letters, magazines and other goods they may need in the field from Lions Club members in the states, including members from the Newcomb Chapter.
Paul Hai, Lions Club member and former president of the Newcomb Chapter was eager to get involved in the program when it was initiated by the district officer.
"My father was in the military and I have always had a peaked interest for learning about it and interacting with soldiers," he said.
He acknowledged that often in times of war, contention prevents soldiers from receiving the kind of support they deserve. Many of the Newcomb Lions can relate as the majority of them are veterans.
"All of the Newcomb Lions wanted to participate in this program. There was overwhelming support," said Hai. "There is a strong resonance with the Newcomb Lions because of their personal connection with Military service."
The Lions Club members were able to meet their platoon several weeks ago at the Adirondack Hotel for dinner and several presentations. The platoon left with a Newcomb banner that will be hung in Afghanistan once the soldiers are settled.
All of the soldiers are know deployed and the Lions Club will soon begin sending packages.
"We want to show that we as Americans care about what the soldiers are doing and provide a link to home," said Hai.
Hai hopes that this program will continue to thrive.
"As long as their are soldiers being deployed, we are committed to continuing to support them," he said.