Some 100 Army Reservists from the 946th Transportation Company in Lewes are readying this week for a one-year deployment to Fort McCoy U.S. Army Base in Wisconsin to assist with integration of 13,000 Afghan evacuees at the base.
Members of the company will arrive Nov. 5 and many will stay at the Beacon Inn in Lewes.
Murt Foos of American Legion Auxiliary Unit 17 is leading a community-wide effort to support the troops and give them an All-American send-off when they leave Sunday, Nov. 7. She said restaurants and organizations answered the call quickly to provide meals to the soldiers Nov. 5 through Nov. 7.
On Nov. 5, they will have breakfast at the center and be bused to downtown Lewes for a drop-and-dine lunch. Many Lewes restaurants are offering discounts to members of the company.
On Nov. 6, the Cape Henlopen Elks will provide breakfast at the center and Epworth United Methodist Church will provide a hot turkey early-Thanksgiving lunch at American Legion Post 17.
SoDel Concepts is sponsoring a Nov. 7 departure-day lunch at St. Jude the Apostle Church, and Lighthouse Catering is providing the departure-day breakfast.
The departure luncheon and deployment ceremony will take place from 1:30 to 2:15 p.m., Nov. 7, at St. Jude the Apostle Church. The community is welcome to attend.
Foos said donated water, healthy snacks, fresh fruit, homemade cookies and to-go foods will be available at the center and Post 17.
Cash donations can be made payable to American Legion Auxiliary Unit 17, Attn: Murt Foos, and mailed to PO Box 35, Nassau, DE 19969.
For more information, contact Foos at email@example.com.
Largest group of evacuees
Fort McCoy is housing the largest number of Afghan evacuees in the United States, who started arriving at the base in late August. Government officials said there is no indication of how long evacuees will be at the base.
About half are children, and most adults are those who worked with the U.S. government as translators, drivers, cooks and Afghan Air Force pilots. Many are waiting for immigrant visas but must have sponsorship from an American family. That process can take from one to five years.