By Frank Lewis
When the 1191st Engineer Company pulled out of the armory on Cole Boulevard, family members and friends knew they were not expecting to see them until they return from deployment in Afghanistan in May of 2015. At the same time, James Dickey Post 23 of the American Legion teamed up with the 1191st Family Readiness Group (FRG) and the Portsmouth Area Ladies (P.A.L.S Inc.) to begin the process of helping the deployed soldiers and their families.
Those organizations have gotten together a fund and are soliciting donations to send care packages to those troops and to provide necessities for their families during their deployment.
“These deployed soldiers are family members, friends, co-workers and members of our communities,” Shawn Gee, former Commander of Post 23 said. “Deployment is a very stressful event for our soldiers and their family members. Our goal is to relieve some of that stress in any way possible. We Americans who sleep under the blanket of security provided by our military members have an obligation to help.”
Gee said the 1191st fund has been established and is being managed by the FRG and the Post 23 finance committee. He said any donation will be greatly appreciated. He said those wishing to make donations should make checks payable to the 1191st Fund, and mail them to 1191st Fund, James Dickey Post 23, Attention Ken Crawford, Post Adjutant, 705 Court Street, Portsmouth, Ohio 45662.
“On August 3rd we’re having an 1191st family day picnic at Post 23. We’re going to start eating at about 11 (p.m.) o’clock,” Gee said. “Portsmouth Ambulance has donated the hamburgers, hot dogs, the buns, the chips, the pop, the water, plus they’re going to cook the food.”
Post 23 Commander Karen Brown said the soldiers and the families of the 1191st are priorities to Post 23 members.
“We love our guys and gals that are serving and we’re going to take care of them while they’re gone,” Brown said. “We’ll send care packages to them. We’ve opened up our legion to the FRG (Family Readiness Group), which is the women’s organization, so they will have places to meet and we’ve just offered our services for whatever we can do for them.”
Frank Lewis can be reached at 740-353-3101, Ext. 1928, or on Twitter @FrankLewispdt.