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Fort McCoy and other military bases seek millions to fix damages attributed to Afghan refugees



American military bases that took in refugees from Afghanistan last year, including Fort McCoy near Sparta, claim the visitors caused extensive damage to government property. 

According to a report by UPI, the Defense Department says it will cost $270 million to repair damage reported at those bases, and more than half of that amount reportedly could be spent at Fort McCoy.  Bases say furniture and cots were broken, or were otherwise ruined by spray paint and what was called “human biological matter.”

The Monroe County Army base hosted almost 13,000 refugees who were brought from Afghanistan to the U.S. after the fall of that nation’s government in the summer of 2021. 

An audit report openly questions whether all the repairs that the military bases want to fix were a result of the refugee presence, or whether the funding would be used on damage that occurred before the refugees arrived.

Fort McCoy claims that the refugees housed there a year ago apparently caused more than $140 million of damage during their stay.  The number of Afghans who went through McCoy was close to 20 per cent of all the Afghans who were brought to America during Operation Allies Welcome.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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  1. Tom Pleuss

    January 1, 2023 at 7:20 pm

    I have contacted Congressman Ron Johnson and Senator Tammy Baldwin and I will be contacting Derick Van Orden when he takes office. I have asked them to conduct a investigation into how this damage was permitted to occur. I do not know who was in charge of this Afghan processing but who ever it was has been negligent in there duties and he or she needs to be held responsible and accountable for the damages that occurred and removed from service. No competent person permits this type of damage to occur. This type of damage occurs during riots. Just what did happen at these processing centers? The United States rescued this people and then this is how they are allowed to behave. I don’t get it. Someone needs to be held accountable but will they be?

  2. Janet

    January 3, 2023 at 4:47 pm

    Why are we responsible for these Afghan refugees? what about the homeless American citizens? so now we find out that the Afghans caused a lot of property damages at Fort McCoy, when will this stop?

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