She's back from the wars and giving back
- Article by: MARK BRUNSWICK
- Star Tribune
- August 27, 2010 - 9:17 PM
Lucinda Barth has a couple of things on her agenda when she heads up to the Twin Cities from Preston this weekend.
As a sergeant in the Minnesota National Guard who recently returned from a deployment in Afghanistan, she'll be participating with her unit on a series of reintegration programs as part of the Guard's pioneering Beyond the Yellow Ribbon campaign. That will be over at the Sheraton in Bloomington.
But she also is scheduled to take part in a ceremony on Harriet Island in St. Paul as part of a another pioneering program, the Minnesotans' Military Appreciation Fund, which presents monetary awards to Minnesotans who have served in the military post-9/11. Founded by philanthropist Eugene Sit, the Military Appreciation Fund is a nonpartisan initiative to thank the state's military members and their families. The group has distributed 14,000 cash grants totaling more than $6 million.
Barth, who was a truck driver for the Guard's 114th Transportation Co. in Afghanistan, will be receiving a $500 check as part of a day of festivities that will include a run, live music and a picnic lunch, free to military service members and their immediate families.
One of the pamphlets in the big bag of stuff she was handed when she came home was about the Military Appreciation Fund. She thought little about it but was told it would be wise to fill it out. A week later she was notified she would be receiving the check and was asked if she would accept it on stage as part of the festivities.
Barth, who also served a tour of duty in Iraq, doesn't plan on keeping the cash for long. She'll be turning the money over to a foundation started by the parents of George Cauley, a member of the company who was killed when his truck ran over a hidden explosive during a convoy last October.
Barth, a licensed practical nurse who will attend nursing school in Mankato to become a registered nurse, said, "It just felt it was like the right thing to do with the money. He was a part of the unit, he was part of all of us."
MARK BRUNSWICK • 612-673-4434
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