After being born and raised in the military town of Colorado Springs and watching four friends be deployed to Afghanistan, sophomore pre-major Tori Knox realized she wanted to do more to support troops.
Since July, Knox has worked to get Writers for Fighters approved as a TCU on-campus organization. The group was made official this week.
Knox began writing letters to her friends in Afghanistan and they expressed their gratitude but also their concern about soldiers that do not have someone to talk to outside of the army.
“We want to make sure [soldiers] know that there are people here thinking about them, wanting the best for them and wishing them well,” Knox said.
She said she immediately looked into starting an organization, and the first step she took was creating a Facebook group.
But whether they were recognized as a group or not, she was still going to gather people together to support the troops, Knox said.
By August, Knox had a group of 35 people eager to start writing letters to soldiers. Today, Writers for Fighters has a current standing of 55 members.
Of those 55 members, approximately 80 percent of them are related to the military either directly or indirectly, Knox said.
Freshman journalism major Maddie Schmitt joined Writers for Fighters because of her strong connections to the military.
Schmitt said her great-grandfather, grandfather, and uncle are Navy veterans and her father and fiancé are in the Army. She said her father is currently deployed in Afghanistan for his third tour.
“Although I might not know what it is like to be deployed, I know what it is like to be the one left behind,” Schmitt said. “These soldiers go through more than I could ever imagine and I am committed to make sure they know they are appreciated and loved back on the home front.”
The organization is focusing on one platoon and every member is assigned one soldier who they write to on a weekly basis, Knox said.
This year the group will host fundraisers in order to send care packages to the soldiers, she said. They will use that money to purchase care package items such as movies, blankets and board games.
Knox said she also wants to encourage other universities to bring Writers for Fighters to their campus before she graduates.
Through Writers for Fighters, Knox said she hopes the TCU campus will support the military a little bit more and support veterans on campus by making them feel welcome.
“It’s heartwarming and an amazing feeling to see how many people came out to support the organization, even those students who do not support the war,” Knox said.
Want to join Writers for Fighters?
Visit the group’s Facebook page and request to join
Or contact Tori Knox