TUESDAY 8/17/2021 7:04 p.m.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Pentagon officials say hundreds of Afghan refugees could be headed to Fort McCoy in western Wisconsin.
Americans and Afghans are scrambling to find ways out of their country after the Taliban overran the country over the last week. The Taliban initiated the blitz with U.S. troops weeks away from their Aug. 31 withdrawal deadline.
Garry Reid, director of the Department of Defense’s Afghanistan Crisis Action Group, told reporters on Monday that the U.S. Army is working to set up reception centers for Afghan refugees at Fort McCoy and Fort Bliss in Texas.
He says the Army is preparing to receive as many as 22,000 refugees at the two bases as well as at Fort Lee in Virginia.
Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers released a statement about the incoming refugees on Tuesday, August 17. Evers is commending the bravery of Afghan refugees fleeing their homes. He explains how we should assist these people, because of the great help they were to our troops in Afghanistan. Saying, “Just as they protected us in serving our country and helped keep our troops safe, we owe it to them to protect and keep them safe.”
Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs (WDVA) Secretary Mary Kolar
The State’s Department of Veterans Affairs (WDVA) Secretary, Mary Kolar, also commented on the possible refugees that could be coming to Fort McCoy. Kolar also expresses her thoughts on veterans across the state and how their mental health might be doing with these current events. She says, “I would like veterans who are experiencing anxiety, rage, anguish, or other mental health consequences due to the unfolding events in Afghanistan that we have resources available… You are not alone.”
Fort McCoy is located in Monroe County and is just under three hours west of Green Bay.
Local veterans reacted to the recent news of the Taliban taking over control of Afghanistan.