Wiregrass helping troops stay connected while deployed - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Wiregrass helping troops stay connected while deployed

Mark Pack Mark Pack
Richard Stewart Richard Stewart
LOWNDES CO., GA (WALB) - Most people may look at a bag of old cell phones and see a pile of junk, but Wiregrass Student Veterans Affairs Adviser and Criminal Justice Instructor Mark Pack sees the money that they can bring when recycled with "Cell Phones for Soldiers", which in turn uses the money to buy phone cards for deployed troops.

"Every five dollars is two and a half minutes of cell phones. They collect them and give the minutes, the cards, to the soldiers," Pack explained. The minutes can be used for Facetime and other similar programs as well.

Richard Stewart just spent four years in the Army and was now enrolling at Wiregrass for the second time. He said the program is a great idea because buying minutes is not always easy for troops.

"Money wise, it's always a struggle," Stewart noted. "The military, obviously, they don't pay as much as they should so any little bit helps."

Wednesday, one person dropped off an entire bag of cell phones at the college, which had about 12 phones in it, giving that many more troops a precious few more minutes to talk to their family and friends back home.

Pack said as a veteran who has been deployed before, a short phone call can have a huge impact.

"Your family's watchin' the news and they say, 'okay, we lost two soldiers today due to IED attack,' or somethin' like that. For them to sit back and wonder, 'oh my God, is this my family member,' and you can contact them, even a text message, sayin', 'I'm okay, everything's fine,' that means a lot," Pack emphasized.

Phones can be shipped to or dropped off at the admissions office at on the Lowndes County campus.

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