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ALABAMA POST SENDS OFF SMALL MILITARY UNIT

Post 49 says 'farewell' to the 946th Surgical Team.

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“I had heard of concerns that smaller military units weren’t receiving the same media coverage as some of the larger units,” said Post 49 Junior Vice Commander Vicki Yanen. “We had to do everything in our power to change that.”

Thanks to a VFW Military Assistance Program (MAP) grant, Post 49 in Mobile, Ala., set their sights on a small unit in need of a little recognition: the 946th Forward Surgical Team.

“We knew our Post had enough support from the community, media, and local government to accomplish, not only providing a meal and a ‘thank you,’ but effectively standing behind these troops to give them the send-off they deserve,” said Yanen.

Earlier this year, Post 49 did just that. The ceremony was held at Fort Whiting and was open to the entire community. More than 110 people attended.

To meet Army protocol, the ceremony featured a keynote speaker, Honor Guard, band and chorus.

“It was so great to see all the smiles and get all the hugs from the soldiers and their families,” said Yanen. “Just seeing how happy they all were made the whole event worthwhile.”

After the ceremony, attendees enjoyed sandwiches, fresh veggies, chips and soda courtesy of the MAP grant.

“VFW is all about reaching out to military, veterans and families who may be deploying or are in need,” said Vicki. “It’s really my honor just to be a part of it all.”

Since the deployment ceremony, Post 49 is asking the Alabama community to donate items for care packages to send to the unit.

“We were there for them before they left. We’ll be there while they’re away, and we’ll be here to welcome them home after a job well done,” Yanen concluded.

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