(Sean Whaley/Nevada News Bureau) – When the 80 members of Yerington’s L Troop of the 1st Squadron 221st Cavalry return from their one-year mission to Afghanistan in April, they will have a surprise waiting for them in addition to what will undoubtedly be a joyous homecoming with family and friends.
Having heard that the furniture in the troop’s Yerington recreation room dated from the 1970s and was described as “early American basement,” a group called 1st Friday Reno and Assemblyman James Settelmeyer, R-Gardnerville, decided to do something about it.
Paul Jackson, organizer of the monthly conservative and libertarian social event called 1st Friday, said $1,400 was raised selling raffle tickets to win one of three firearms.
The money was then used to refurnish the rec room with new furniture from RC Willey Home Furnishings. Included in the project was a 60-inch HD TV. Jackson said RC Willey helped out in a big way by discounting the items. The fundraiser also generated $200 for the unit’s Family Readiness Group.
The furniture and television were delivered Dec. 22, just in time for Christmas.
“We just wanted to make their lives a bit easier when they get back here,” Settelmeyer said. “We all appreciate their sacrifice. No amount of money can repay them for their service. All we can do is good deeds.”
“The guys deserve it,” Jackson said. “When you’re spending time somewhere, you need a place to relax, write a letter, get on the computer or watch some TV.”
Most of the guardsmen and women assigned to the Yerington troop come from Carson City, Dayton, Reno, Sparks, Fallon and Fernley. Those on deployment are serving in Laghman Province in southeast Afghanistan. They are providing security for a reconstruction team and are conducting combat and infantry missions.
The 1st Friday Reno event this month will be held Jan. 8 because of the New Year’s Holiday. It will be at Harrah’s Reno Hotel & Casino in the Sapphire Lounge starting at 5:30 p.m.