Iraq-bound Ky. Units Need Money For Christmas Home Visit

(AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis, Pool)

RICHMOND, KY -- More than 20 soldiers from the Richmond-based 617th Military Police Unit will be heading to Fort Dix, N.J. to begin training for a year-long tour in Iraq. They can come home for Christmas but it is standard policy they have to pay their own way.

The Richmond area Kentucky National Guard soldiers are teaming up with the Murray-based 438th MP Unit for the overseas deployment. Because their training will last a few months, the unit will be allowed to come home for the holidays when the base shuts down for a few days around Christmas, but the Army will not fund it, reports The Richmond Register.

With the Army not providing travel funds, Nicole Thomas, the 438th MP unit family readiness group coordinator, is trying to raise around $25,000 to bring the soldiers back to Kentucky on charter buses.

Thomas says anyone who would like to make a tax-deductible donation toward bringing the National Guard soldiers back to Kentucky for Christmas can send a check to: Bring a Soldier Home c/o Regions Bank, P.O. Box 1080, Murray, KY 42071.

A going-away ceremony for the 136 soldiers was held Saturday at Murray High School.

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