Dec 14, 2009 8:51 AM by Associated Press
Author Stephen King and his wife are donating money so 150 soldiers from the Maine Army National Guard can come home for the holidays.
King and his wife, Tabitha, who live in Bangor, are paying $13,000 toward the cost of two bus trips so that members of the 3rd Battalion, 172nd Infantry Unit can travel from Camp Atterbury in Indiana to Maine for Christmas.
The soldiers left Maine last week for training at Camp Atterbury. They are scheduled to depart for Afghanistan in January.
Julie Eugley, one of King's personal assistants, told the Bangor Daily News that the Kings were approached about giving $13,000.
But Stephen King thought the number 13 was a bit unlucky, so the couple pitched in $12,999 instead. Eugley chipped in $1 to make for an even $13,000.
The round-trip cost for each bus is $8,350, said Thomas "Skip" Chappelle, who runs Operation Community Support, a Bangor-based military assistance nonprofit agency, and who solicited the Kings for money.
In addition to the donation from the Kings, Chappelle said the Family Assistance Center of the Maine Army National Guard would provide the remainder.