SPARTA, Wis. (WLAX/WEUX) – The state of Wisconsin is continuing to show its support for the Afghan refugees at Fort McCoy.
Monday, the Concerned Veterans for America Foundation (CVAF) delivered more than $150,000 in supplies from Milwaukee, in partnership with House of Harley-Davidson.
Director of the Wisconsin CVAF group Sam Rogers says he feels a moral obligation to help the refugees due to his experiences in Afghanistan.
“A translator saved my life in my first deployment in a firefight, and after that as an intelligence officer and an interrogator, I could not have done my job without a local translator,” Rogers explained. “I feel, personally, a large debt of gratitude.”
Donations also came in Monday from the Libertarian Party of Wisconsin.
Vice-Chair Neil Harmon says seeing the amount of people donating items for the refugees has been inspiring.
“It just shows the heart of Wisconsin, as far as, that people are willing to step up and help people that they don’t even know,” Harmon expressed. “I think it’s very important that we continue to do the things that we’re doing now.”
Both Harmon and Chairman Jacob VandenPlas agree with the assistance the United States is providing for its Afghan allies.
They hope Wisconsin residents can look past their political leanings when discussing the nature of the support.
“These are human beings that have helped serve, and at the end of the day there is a human aspect,” VandenPlas said. “We have to remove the politics out of this situation and actually take care of the people.”
As the refugees prepare to build a new life in America, Rogers hopes the support from Wisconsinites will help them feel welcomed.
“Whether they end up in Wisconsin permanently or elsewhere in the country, we just hope that they take away from this that we care about them having the things they need to look after themselves, their children,” Rogers said.
Team Rubicon will be accepting donations at the Sparta National Guard Armory as long as there is a need at Fort McCoy.
A full list of desired supplies can be found here.