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'A Soldier's Salute' to help raise funds for Guard support

For soldiers in Iraq and their families in North Dakota, it's the little things that can make a difference. That's why volunteers from the region are hosting "A Soldier's Salute" for members of the 141st Engineer Combat Battalion on Sept.

For soldiers in Iraq and their families in North Dakota, it's the little things that can make a difference.

That's why volunteers from the region are hosting "A Soldier's Salute" for members of the 141st Engineer Combat Battalion on Sept. 18 at the Fargo Civic Memorial Auditorium.

The dinner, raffle, live auction and silent auction are designed to raise funds to benefit the battalion's family support groups in Fargo, Grand Forks, Valley City and Jamestown.

Each unit will decide how to use its share of the money, said Jen Sahr, the benefit coordinator.

The Fargo unit plans to use its funds to give each soldier a Christmas gift, as well as money to purchase gifts for family and friends back home, said Jan Moen, whose husband, Tim Moen, is in Iraq.

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"It will give them a reason to look forward to the holidays," she said.

The Jamestown unit has talked about using funds to help community groups send care packages and letters to Iraq, Sahr said.

Tim Moen is Sahr's uncle. She also has a brother-in-law, Sheldon Mohr, serving in Iraq. The benefit is an opportunity to support soldiers like them.

"It's a way for us to let them know we understand how difficult it is to be away from their families and how important their work over there is," she said.

Simple items, such as phone cards, postage and gifts provide comfort to people far from home, she said.

Maj. Gen. Michael Haugen and Brig. Gen. Jerald Engelman of the North Dakota National Guard will speak at the benefit.

Some mayors from the planning team's cities also will be there.

Area businesses have donated items for the raffle and auctions. Dinner will be catered by Palatable Catering at Concordia College.

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Tickets are $15 and must be purchased by Monday . Tickets may be purchased at all Fargo-Moorhead Hornbacher's stores or by calling (701) 239-6122.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Erin Hemme Froslie at (701) 241-5534

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