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Base spouses join the fight against the rising Red River

Release Number: 280309

Cots have been set-up in the Grand Forks AFB fitness center in support of the flood beddown operation. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Johnny Saldivar)

Cots have been set-up in the Grand Forks AFB fitness center in support of the flood beddown operation. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Johnny Saldivar)


Baked goods, a friendly face and a place to sleep are just a few of the things that await the hard working men and women fighting the rising waters of the Red River.

As the situation in North Dakota began to unfold, Grand Forks AFB became the official staging ground for government agencies from around the nation. The base is currently "home" to members of the Coast Guard, the Army and Air National Guard, the Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Air Force members stationed elsewhere.

When these personnel show up at Grand Forks AFB and begin to in-process, the first people they are greeted by are members of the Officer's and Enlisted Spouses Clubs.

These two clubs were asked to provide snacks, baked goods and information about Fargo and Grand Forks to incoming personnel and jumped at the opportunity. Between the two clubs, they are working four hour shifts from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.

"Anyway that I'm able to help improve the situation is better than sitting at home wondering what I could be doing," said Dawn Olson, ESC member.

The ESC and OSC have also arranged for clothes to be donated from the base thrift store if needed. Clothes that are not used by new team Grand Forks members will eventually be donated to downtown organizations.

Besides helping with this effort and being a social organization for spouses on base, the two clubs are also responsible for fundraising. The money earned is donated to college and summer camp scholarships for members of the base community.

Base lodging and various housing units are being used to house the incoming teammates. On top of this, more than 100 cots have been set up inside the base fitness center to accommodate the overflow of flood support personnel.

"The most exciting part of all this is getting to see the community and different organizations pull together in a time of need," said Sarah Berger, ESC member.