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National Guard Prepares to Build Schools in Nicaragua

National Guard Prepares to Build Schools in Nicaragua

Posted - Nov. 8, 2004 at 4:48 p.m.



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Sam Penrod ReportingHelp is on the way for some third world school students. The Utah National Guard is preparing to travel to Nicaragua to build four schools and two medical clinics.

Today the Alpine School district donated a truckload worth of surplus desks and chairs along with school supplies to the effort, which early next year will furnish the schools the guard will help to build.

Utah National Guard troops helped to load up the donated items from schools in the district this morning. The school furniture and supplies will be shipped to Nicaragua to an area that's being described as very rural and remote. And beginning in January, several Utah National Guard units will begin trips to Nicaragua to construct schools where these desks and chairs will be used.

Spc. Kelly Collett, Utah National Guard: "In Baghdad where we've seen children there and the lack they have just done have anything and I'm guessing the people of Nicaragua is similar to that situation, so it will be good for soldiers to have a chance and opportunity to go down there where it's not a war time environment, and actually be able to help."

The guard units will rotate to the different locations where the schools will be built. The project also includes building two medical clinics with medical units providing basic healthcare checkups to 20,000 people in Nicaragua.

It's all part of the National Guard's annual training, where they can train out of the country but at the same time provide humanitarian relief. About 1500 Utah guardsmen will be involved, along with reservists from all branches of the military in seven states.

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