When the AdoptaPlatoon linked Malissa Wareham of Oswego, Illinois to a soldier serving in Iraq, little did she know that a friendship of caring and love would develop. Malissa’s soldier was Army Specialist Craig Frank serving with the Army National Guard’s 1775th Military Police Company from Pontiac, Michigan. SPC Craig S. Frank, 24 years old, of Lincoln Park, Michigan, died July 17 near Baghdad, Iraq, when his convoy vehicle hit an improvised explosive device.
The following was sent to a newspaper by Malissa’s good friend after reading an article about SPC Frank was published.
“I’m writing in response to your article this week about Army Specialist Craig Frank, the Lincoln Park native who was killed in Iraq recently. I never met Craig, but I knew a lot about him through my friend, Malissa Wareham. Malissa had been writing to Craig overseas for over a year; she was assigned to Craig through the organization, AdoptaPlatoon (http://www.adoptaplatoon.org). Through email, phone calls, cards & letters, and care packages, Craig and Malissa’s friendship grew. On one of his leaves, Malissa drove the long hours from the far-west suburbs of Chicago to meet her brave soldier in person for a one day visit. Malissa felt Craig was a wonderful person; she was devastated to hear of his death. She was one of a handful of people that Craig had left instructions to notify if anything happened to him. The bond they shared truly made my friend very happy. She was extremely moved by his eternal pride for serving his country. Maybe you could do a follow-up story about Adopt A Platoon or similar support organizations that have assisted in creating such great long-distance friendships and for people like Craig’s family to see what an impact these soldiers have on so many of us. Craig and Malissa recently began planning another visit for when he came home; it saddens me that this time, she’ll be making the trip to say goodbye to a friend she adored.”
The AdoptaPlatoon™ sends it heartfelt words of sympathy to the Frank family, the soldiers of the Army National Guard 1775th Military Police Company, the 1775th Family Support Group, and to Malissa Wareham for stepping forward to embrace a U.S. Soldier in his time of need. All the volunteer mothers who manage the AdoptaPlatoon thank you Malissa for every kindness you sent to Special Frank.