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"Things We Read" Organization Helps Soldiers Pass Time

LAWTON Okla_ The first "Things We Read" book collection was officially presented Thursday at the Military Welcome Center at the Lawton-Fort Sill Regional Airport.

The collection will be available for soldiers waiting for their flights. The co-founders of "Things We Read" got the idea while serving as platoon leaders in Iraq.

"Things We Read" is dedicated to providing books to some of our nation's most important assets, soldiers. Thursday, they did just that. The books in the collections will differ throughout the country, but some of the books in the Lawton-Fort Sill Airport ranged from classics like To Kill A Mockingbird, to best sellers from John Grisham.

"Things We Read" was founded when two platoon leaders serving in Iraq began collecting book recommendations and distributing the lists among their soldiers, after seeing the need for something more meaningful for their soldiers to do in their spare time.

"Access to good ideas is a really important part of living a quality life," Things We Read Director and Co-Founder Garrison Haning said.

Haning and his co-founder Christopher Molaro spent some time at Fort Sill, so they decided this was a great place to present their first collection. Molaro said reading is a great way for soldiers to de-stress after a long day.

"Soldiers that are deployed are constantly facing the stress of combat," Molaro said. "They're missing their families. They are looking for outlets everyday, and this is just another outlet, a view of into some of the great minds of our country."

Haning said these book lists will at least get soldiers to pick up a book and read the recommendations made by influential people.

"When you're dealing with somebody in a quick situation, they've got 15 minutes before they catch their plane," Haning said. "A lot of the times, you default to the television or a magazine. Then, you pick up your stuff and go. So with this, we hope to condense their options a little bit and just put the really good stuff right out front."

Haning and Molaro said they are dedicated to finding the funding to put their trademark red bookshelves in airports across the country to reach as many soldiers as they can.

To look at the "Things We Read" book list and recommendations, you can visit their website at www.ThingsWeRead.com.

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