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Archive for Saturday, May 29, 2004

State enlists support for families left behind by deployed reservists

First husband Gary Sebelius to lead Kansas Military Support Program

May 29, 2004

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— With three young boys to care for and her husband serving in Iraq, Adrienne Dickey, of Ottawa, says the lawn is "knee-high" and she doesn't even want to look at what's in the rain gutters.

Dickey, 29, is the kind of person state and federal officials said they had in mind in launching the Kansas Military Support Program on Friday.

The program will match military families with organizations that will provide services while troops are overseas.

"The families of these dedicated soldiers must make many adjustments and need our support to help them through this very stressful time," said U.S. Magistrate Gary Sebelius, who was selected by his wife, Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, to lead the effort.

With the assistance of the Kansas National Guard, Kansas Army Reserves and Kansas Volunteer Commission, the program will match volunteer services to families in need of support.

Judge Sebelius called on civic organizations throughout the state to pitch in and help.

"Any act large or small will be most appreciated," he said.

In the past year, 3,200 members of the Kansas National Guard and Kansas Army Reserves have been called to active duty and will be separated from their families for long periods of time.

Dickey's husband, Spc. Donald Dickey, 31, was deployed in March to Iraq with the 2nd Battalion, 130th Field Artillery of the Kansas Army National Guard. His unit will stay there until June 2005.

The couple have three boys: Skylar, 10; Caleb, 8; and Kaden, 5.

Adrienne Dickey said she didn't realize how much her husband did around the house until he left.

Now, she said, she is somewhat overwhelmed with transporting the boys to their activities and taking care of the home.

Getting an extra hand would help, she said.

"Little things like this will make or break a family," she said.

By next week, interested volunteers can register at www.ksgovernor.org while families seeking services can get more information at www.ks.ngb.army.mil.

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