Stephen and Tabitha King foot bill for troops' ride home

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Dec 14, 2012, 4:09 PM EST

Horror writer and all-around mensch Stephen King and his wife, author Tabitha King, are donating $12,999 so that members of the Maine Army National Guard currently training at Camp Atterbury, Ind., can come home to Portland and Bangor for the holidays, the Bangor Daily News reports.

This amount is short of the $13,000 that had been requested, but King didn't want any form of the unlucky number 13 to be associated with the troops. The remaining dollar came from one of King's assistants, Julie Eugley.

A total of 150 members of the Brewer-based Bravo Company of the 3rd Battalion, 172nd Infantry Unit, will be going back to Maine by bus, courtesy of the Kings. The guardsmen are scheduled to ship off to Afghanistan in January.

King has been involved with a number of charities, including the Jimmy Fund and others that deal with AIDS, hunger and poverty.