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One Knox site links returning soldiers with assistance

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By Amber Coulter

Community members are invited to welcome home soldiers from the 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division through use of a website designed to provide multiple ways for residents to thank those who have served.

The website, www.oneknox.com/welcomehome, was launched by One Knox in conjunction with the organization’s Army partners and the Hardin County Chamber of Commerce’s Military Affairs Council.

Soldiers, the largest number of combat veterans coming home to Fort Knox since 1942, began returning from Afghanistan last month.

The page was made available in mid-November, allowing community members to sign up to host soldiers for a meal during the holiday season and receive notification of welcoming ceremonies.

One Knox spokeswoman Beth Avey said there was a great response from community members leading up to Thanksgiving.

She expects even more people to volunteer as the December holidays approach.

“We just want to make sure we’re as prepared as possible,” she said.

The chaplain for 3/1 receives the list of those volunteering to host soldiers for a Christmas meals and matches soldiers and families based on need. That means some volunteers might not be called on to host soldiers this year, Avey said.

Area businesses can visit the page and offer complimentary meals and provide military discounts, and the website condenses that information for soldiers’ use.

Information has been distributed about the website and the deals available there by leaving fliers in each of the barracks rooms.

The page also links to the Duke Association, a nonprofit organization raising money to complete a memorial for fallen soldiers of the 3/1 and the dedication ceremony in the spring of 2012.

Avey said the website is valuable to community members because area residents are always looking for new ways to thank soldiers and their families, and the website provides a new way to do that.

“For soldiers and their families, it’s just a way for all of us to say, ‘Thanks,’” she said.

Area residents have for a long time appreciated the sacrifices soldiers have made to defend their country and their communities, Avey said.

“I’ve said several times, ‘There’s no other place like it,’” she said. “This is just a special place to live.”

Amber Coulter can be reached at (270) 505-1746 or acoulter@thenewsenterprise.com.