Thursday, July 27, 2006

Operation Welcome Home!

It was a pleasure talking with Ellen Sorenson Fond du Lac County's Director of Administration during a recent "The Focus" program on KFIZ. She's a busy lady with her job with the County, but we were talking to the Mom in her. She has a son serving in Iraq with the local National Guard's Charlie Company unit.

Ellen and a couple of others are organizing "Operation Welcome Home." It's an official welcome home celebration for the more than 180 soldiers from the Fond du Lac, Ripon and Waupun areas that will be held at the County Fairgrounds Expo Center on Saturday, November 4th.

Ellen says they can't believe how much support there has been for the troops in the area and she's hoping that will continue on their special day in November. The troops will actually be home about a month or a little longer before that, but the Military requires a sort of cooldown period before a formal celebration can be held.

I was at the sendoff ceremony in June of 2005. The turnout was tremendous and the family support was multigenerational. It was a proud moment for those about to serve and the community. I was also at the funeral for Sergeant Andrew Wallace last fall in Ripon. Another huge turnout for the community to say goodbye to a member of the 127th Infantry, who along with Michael Wendling was killed by a roadside bomb.

We don't have all the specifics yet on "Operation Welcome Home," they are still being formulated. It will include a parade, then a ceremony at the Expo Center and a time for fellowship. Support Our Troops, we certainly will. We hope you will too.