Shannon Ison is training at Ft. McCoy, Wisconsin with the Kentucky Army National Guard unit in preparation for deployment to Afghanistan, but his wife Deborah is also on a mission.
Deborah tells 27 NEWSFIRST, "As family and friend of the 201st, we are trying to raise $60,000 to bring the whole battalion home back to Kentucky on a 4 day pass before they leave for Afghanistan."
Shannon Ison is a Lexington firefighter and paramedic, and his battalion includes lots of citizen soldiers from central and eastern Kentucky. Some have young families and can't afford to pay their own charter fare home and back to Wisconsin.
Deborah Ison says, "Nor do those families have the funds to travel to Wisconsin for the 4 days to see them. In my research, I only found two pretty good motels within the area so there would be no way they could
house 480 families.
Sure, the families could just patiently wait almost a year for the kind of emotional welcome home celebrations we've seen so often in recent years, but even four days with the loved ones before deployment would make that wait much easier.
The wives only have a matter of weeks to raise the money so anyone who would like to sponsor a soldier's trip or make a donation of any size should make checks payable to: Family and Friends of the 201st
and send them to Red Cross, P.O. Box 1181, Ashland, KY 41105.