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

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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  • by J Location: Kentucky on Nov 14, 2007 at 09:24 AM
    I graciously accept your apology, common sense, and apologize myself for getting angry. I hope that everybody reading this story will help spread the word and help our soldiers in any way that they can.
  • by mel Location: lex on Nov 14, 2007 at 08:21 AM
    I also have that simple point of view, Heather.
  • by Ken Location: Richmond on Nov 14, 2007 at 07:13 AM
    Being a vet, I can tell you without reservation that it is common practice for any service member who wants to be home for the holidays to pay their own way, no matter where they are stationed or what they are doing. With that being said, donating to a cause like this is a great way to show our men and women of the armed forces that we really care about them. They give a lot and don't ask for much. Being trained to go fight a war is a big sacrifice and yes, I know they volunteered for it but that only means someone else didn't have to. I think "Reality" stated it best so let's send our TAX DEDUCTIBLE (for those of you who want to claim this on your taxes) contribution to this fund and give an early Christmas present. Trust me, you'll feel very good in doing so.
  • by Heather on Nov 14, 2007 at 06:51 AM
    To Reality - I think most of our comments should be "simple" to you in their meaning - if we can spend billions of dollars on this war (agree with it or not, which I do NOT, and never HAVE), these people deserve to be treated better by their government. If we are shelling out our hard earned money via taxes to finance this war, why should we also be expected to pay to bring these soldiers home? This administration wants to dictate what is to be done, and has no regard for the people fighting or paying for the war. I think I am not the only person who has that "simple" point of view. By the way, have you sent money?
  • by commonsense Location: KY on Nov 14, 2007 at 06:47 AM
    J, I apologize for the unwarranted sarcasm. If you want to actually help, that would be great. Most people seem to give good lip service of what should or could be done, but never do it. As far as helping out these Soldiers, I will.
  • by ben on Nov 14, 2007 at 06:29 AM
    Don't the soldiers get paid and all?
  • by J Location: Kentucky on Nov 14, 2007 at 03:58 AM
    to common sense: your sarcasm was uncalled for. I was simply asking how to help more or get a bigger group of people to help than just the 12 (at the time) posters on this site. I have family in the service and always donate and help any way that I can. I hope your "superior intellect" is donating to help out the soldiers. Maybe you should use that mouth of yours to spread the word and help out these soldiers instead of sitting at your computer and putting others down.
  • by Helen Location: Harlan on Nov 13, 2007 at 07:38 PM
    It is sad that these fine soldiers have to pay for their trip home before deployment. When our national guard unit had their leave home before their deployment to Iraq they also had to pay out of their own pockets for their ticket home. We had a fund raiser and sold tee shirts with their logo on it and had bake sales and donations until we raised enough money to pay for a ticket for everyone and every soldier did not have to pay for their ticket. I thank God for these troops and we should support them in anyway we can. My thoughts and prayers are with this unit and may each and everyone return home safe. God Bless America....and pray for our leaders to find a way to end this war with victory and bring our troops home. Good luck 438th and my prayers will be with you everyday. Thank you for your service to our wonderful country.
  • by Common Sense Location: KY on Nov 13, 2007 at 11:54 AM
    J, yeah you can do something to get the money can donate money. Do you have any other questions, like how not to drown when it rains?
  • by Reality Location: KY on Nov 13, 2007 at 11:14 AM
    For some of you previous posters, let me simplify the situation- Most of you think these Soldiers should be home for the holidays. You can either a)complain about the government on an internet comment board or b)you can send a couple of dollars to bring these Soldiers home for the holidays. Which one is going to bring the Soldiers home for the holidays? Pretty simple isn't it.
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