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First Christian Church gathering materials for deployed soldiers

ASHLAND, Ky. — As a part of its “40 Days of Prayer and Service” connected to the Lenten season, members of First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), 1930 Winchester Avenue, Ashland, gathered materials to send to deployed members of the Kentucky Army National Guard. Now, the church is asking others in the area to support a continuation of the effort.

According to Deanna Bradley, chair of the church’s World Outreach Department, many of the soldiers in the 149th Vertical Construction Company are our friends and neighbors. “We want to show them we care while they are on a nine-month deployment to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom,” Bradley said. “A collection box has been established in the church’s Narthex for these items, and the first two boxes are now in the mail to our soldiers.

“This is an opportunity for other individuals and churches in our area to say to these soldiers that, while the effort in Afghanistan appears to be winding down, they are not forgotten, and are in our thoughts and prayers,” Bradley said. “We are opening our effort to all others in our area who want to share in this.”

The 149th Vertical Construction Company is comprised of soldiers trained in skills such as masonry, carpentry and electrical to construct barracks, offices and other buildings. The unit is expected to return home sometime in late December of this year.

Requested items for the packages include cards and letters of encouragement, female body wash, pencils, pens, paper, chips, sweets such as hard candy, gum, snack cakes, candy bars, pizza ingredients (for example, Chef Boyardee Cheese Pizza Kit), deflated basketballs. Any food items should be prepackaged, nonperishable, have long expiration dates, not melt easily, and not contain pork products.

The unit deployed previously in 2008-2009 as part of the 201st Engineer Battalion mission to Afghanistan. Soldiers also supported last year’s tornado recovery effort in Salyersville and Menifee County.

For more information, contact the church office at (606) 325-3686.