Red Cross support for Afghan refugees at Fort McCoy ending this week

FORT McCOY, Wis. — Red Cross support for Afghan refugees at Fort McCoy is concluding at the end of September, officials said Tuesday.

The organization has been providing temporary care for the evacuees at military bases around the country, including Fort McCoy, as a “bridge” until government agencies put more long-term support plans into place. Almost 800 Red Cross workers have been helping provide physical and mental health services since refugees started arriving at bases across the U.S. in August.

The aid also included making sure people had things like prescription medications, hygiene items, diapers, eyeglasses and wheelchairs — among other items — they may have had to leave behind in Afghanistan in the rush to get out of the country.

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The Red Cross says now with the federal government expanding its capacity to provide that support, those services will begin to transition to other services on Thursday, September 30th. The Red Cross will continue providing its “Restoring Family Links” services to help reconnect family members that have been separated by the crisis in Afghanistan and have not yet been reunited.

“We are proud to have played a role in welcoming U.S. citizens and Afghan refugees who have been through so much over the past weeks and years,” American Red Cross of Wisconsin spokesperson Justin Kern said in a statement.

Overall, the Red Cross says it has provided about 1.9 million relief items and 385,000 meals and snacks to the evacuees.