The Virginia National Guard has begun accepting donations of care packages for troops stationed in the nation’s capital, according to reports.
Various states have deployed troops to Washington, D.C., in order to bolster defense following the riot at the U.S. Capitol. and in anticipation of further incidents in the days leading up to President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.
Photos of troops stationed in the Capitol circulated on social media, showing hundreds of troops sleeping inside the Capitol building.
Hundreds of National Guard troops hold inside the Capitol Visitor’s Center to reinforce security at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021. The House of Representatives is pursuing an article of impeachment against President Donald Trump for his role in inciting an angry mob to storm the Capitol last week. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
The photos prompted an initial outpouring of donations, with Americans trying to send money or “comfort items” to the service members, according to Military.com.
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The Guard responded on Wednesday by telling people they couldn’t accept the donations.
“While we appreciate the many offers and people who care about our soldiers and airmen, we are not logistically able to accept donations of any kind,” the National Guard said in a press release.
However, later in the day, the Virginia National Guard said it would be able to accept donations and send them on to fellow members stationed in D.C., according to WHSV.
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“A lot of these guys that are up there are from the valley,” said Sgt. Donald Arbaugh with the Virginia National Guard. “They are our neighbors, family and friends and they are up there.”
“They got called up at the last minute,” Arbaugh continued. “We just want to make sure they have the supplies and the morale that they need to accomplish their mission in such a short time frame.”
The Virginia National Guard says service members need snacks, basic hygiene items, drinks and batteries.
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Any items can be sent to 340 South Willow Street, Harrisonburg, VA 22801, with “ATTN: SFC Fretwell” before the address and “Leave at back door” after the address.