The Daviess County and Owensboro Rotary Clubs met Wednesday to discuss preparations for the upcoming deployment of the 206th Engineer Battalion from the Kentucky National Guard Armory in Owensboro. Next week, an estimated 170 Guard soldiers will be deploying to the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) region.
Numerous community businesses and organizations have come together in recent weeks to assist the soldiers and their families.
Yellow Ribbon Show of Support
Welborn Florist provided a discount to the Daviess County Rotary Club to purchase the materials needed for 500 yellow ribbon kits. Boy Scout Troop 611 assembled the bow kits for community members to pick up at Independence Bank locations beginning July 18. The goal of the Daviess County Rotary is to “cover this town in yellow ribbons.”
Troop on a Stoop
The Daviess County Rotary Club teamed up with Kentucky Remembers, as well as sponsors BB&T, Old National, South Central and German American Banks, to provide a Troop on a Stoop to each requesting family. Similarly named to the popular Elf on the Shelf, Troop on the Stoop is a visual likeness of a deployed loved one created to provide comfort to the family.
“If there is a child of a soldier that is leaving, a soldier similar to the person who is leaving is created for that child — for that family,” said Daviess County Rotarian Barbara Poynter. “It’s kind of there like an Elf on the Shelf is, watching over their child — even though they’re deployed.”
Adopt a Soldier
The Daviess County School District has created sign-ups for schools and classrooms to adopt nearly all 170 soldiers. Each adoptive classroom will be responsible for sending at least two care packages to their soldier during the nearly year-long deployment.
National Guard Yellow Ribbon Campaign
The Yellow Ribbon Campaign was coordinated by the Army National Guard in order to ensure that family members who will experience the largest impact by the future deployment are best informed and prepared.
Two events will be held at the Owensboro Convention Center next week specifically for family members of those soldiers being deployed. Childcare for children ages 1-5 will be provided by area teachers and members of the community while parents are attending meetings and trainings.
Following the training on Thursday, July 25, beginning promptly at 2 p.m., there will be a departure ceremony for the more than 150 National Guard members and their families at the Owensboro Convention Center. The hour-long ceremony will feature local and state officials and will be open to the public.
On Friday, July 26, the community is invited to line the route to the airport with American flags and visible displays of patriotic support during two separate timeframes. The first group will depart from the Armory at 10:30 a.m., with the second leaving at 1:30 p.m. The route will begin at the National Guard Armory on Tamarack Road, proceed north on Carter Road, to Parrish Avenue and onto Airport Road en route to the airport.
Those wanting to line up in support are encouraged to park their cars respectfully outside the path of travel and line the route around 10 a.m. and/or 1 p.m.