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Andrea Domaskin, Published September 08 2007

Scout collects Beanies for kids

A Moorhead boy working to become an Eagle Scout is collecting Beanie Babies for soldiers to give to Iraqi children.

Nick Geraghty, 15, chose the project because his cousin, who has served in Iraq, saw a project where a Boy Scout sent soccer balls for troops to hand out to children on patrol, said Nick and his father, Tom Geraghty.

For his Eagle Scout project, Nick set up collection boxes Wednesday at Fargo-Moorhead Hornbacher’s grocery stores and at Edward Jones in Moorhead, 123 4th St.

“We have a huge mountain of Beanie Babies and it's only been like two days,” Nick said.

The Beanie Babies will be collected until Sept. 19.

Guardsman returns

A member of the North Dakota National Guard’s 119th Wing is returning from Iraq.

Tech. Sgt. Ryan Hoffman is expected to arrive about 11:40 a.m. Sunday at Hector International Airport in Fargo, according to a news release.

Hoffman is a member of the 119th Medical Group. He deployed in July to Camp Sather, Iraq.

Hoffman worked at a Baghdad hospital as a medical technician. He helped train Iraqi soldiers in hospital procedures and transported patients.

The Guard invites people to welcome Hoffman home when his commercial flight arrives.

Bases may get funds

The U.S. Senate has approved an appropriation bill that includes nearly $66 million for North Dakota’s military bases.

North Dakota Sens. Kent Conrad and Byron Dorgan said in a news release that the bill includes:

- $33.4 million to construct a new combat engineer training facility at Camp Grafton near Devils Lake. The facility would be used to train National Guard and Army Reserve combat engineers from across the U.S.

- $1.28 million to convert a hangar at Grand Forks Air Force base to accommodate unmanned aerial vehicles. The aircraft are expected to arrive in Grand Forks in 2009 and will be operated by members of Fargo’s 119th Wing.

- $13 million to renovate the Grand Forks Air Base control tower.

- $18.2 million for a new 144-room dormitory for enlisted personnel at Minot Air Force Base.

Celebrations planned

A gathering is planned Sept. 16 in Detroit Lakes for family and friends of all area veterans and their family and friends.

The event, organized by the Detroit Lakes family readiness group, is scheduled from 12:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Detroit Lakes Fairgrounds Fieldhouse, according to a news release.

Food will be served from 12:30 to 2 p.m. and bands will play from 2 to 7:30 p.m.

The gathering was expanded from an event to welcome home Minnesota National Guard members who recently returned from an extended deployment to Iraq, Sgt. First Class James Bakkila said.

A welcome home celebration in Fergus Falls, Minn., will be Sept. 22.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Andrea Domaskin at (701) 241-5556