Activists are near their goal of finding volunteers to “proudly serve part of Bradley Manning’s sentence.”

Defense arguments begin today in the sentencing phase for the 25-year-old found guilty on 20 counts related to his leak of more than 700,000 classified documents and battlefield video to WikiLeaks.

Manning is expected to speak at his sentencing on Wednesday. Pentagon officials testified last week in the prosecution phase that Manning’s leaks put people in danger, including Afghan villagers who faced Taliban reprisals.

He faces up to 90 years behind bars on convictions ranging from theft to violations of the Espionage Act.

One 68-year-old on the petition suggested that volunteers serve Manning’s sentence from oldest to youngest.

“If we each volunteer to serve part of his sentence… it would bring attention to the amount of time this young man has been sentenced to and, hopefully reduce his sentence to time served,” states the petition, which was close to its goal of 4,000 signatures.

“Bradley Manning provided information to the American people which our own government would not provide. He did us all a favor and, in turn I am willing to serve part of his sentence.”

They intend on emailing the petition to Maj. Gen. Jeffrey S. Buchanan.

Sentencing could be as soon as Friday.