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      Soldiers and families staying connected across the globe

      <font size="2">"It's very important because it brings me right into the home with my kids, where I couldn't otherwise connect with them," said Painter.</font>

      EASTOVER, SC (WACH) -- Major Karl Painter is a father of five and during a recent deployment to Afghanistan his children were able to have daddy read them a book at bedtime.

      "It's very important because it brings me right into the home with my kids, where I couldn't otherwise connect with them," said Painter.

      Painter is taking part in the USO'S united through reading program.

      The reading program allows men and women in the military to read their children's favorite book to them while being recorded.

      The tape is then sent home so kids can see and hear their parents.

      "This is permanent so if something happens to me then they'll always have this it's recorded and it's there, so they can always remember what daddy looks like," adds Painter.

      They're trying their hardest to keep that connection with their kids to let them know who mom and dad are even though they may be half way across the world," said Michelle McClain.

      McClain has been volunteering for the USO for almost a year and with her brother in the Army, she knows the impact the USO has for soldiers away from home.

      "You see how hard it is for them to be leaving their families, but it's great to know that the little things that we can do with this program are going to help there kids feel better at night. They're going to let them know that mom and dad, aunts and uncle's, cousins... They're still thinking about them," adds McClain.

      "It was tough coming back and trying to reintegrate with the family and the kids but things like this bridge that gap," adds Painter.

      A gap the USO is helping make smaller one book at a time.