Gulf refugee center is needed no longer
With the Persian Gulf war over, the Maryland Department of Human Resources has been told its services to refugees from the gulf region are no longer needed.
State and federal personnel and volunteers from 300 agencies, private firms and organizations were mobilized by the department last summer after the Iraqis invaded Kuwait. The workers established a repatriation center at Baltimore-Washington International Airport to offer emergency services to American citizens and their dependents who had fled Iraq or escaped the invaders in Kuwait.
DHR Secretary Carolyn Colvin said about 600 refugees and former hostages arrived in September on three flights. They were processed through a reception center set up at the Butler Aviation terminal at BWI and offered medical care, financial assistance, transportation, temporary shelter and crisis counseling.
The repatriation center apparatus remained on standby throughout the fall and winter, but was not used again.
HELP STILL AVAILABLE
While other services and activities established during the gulf war may be winding down, Operation Maryland Shield continues to offer services to the families of military personnel.
The Department of Human Resources says the statewide program for the delivery of information and assistance is still operating.
"A lot of military personnel will need help readjusting to civilian life, to their jobs and their families, and we are here to help them," Secretary Colvin said.
The services are available through a statewide toll-free hot line established at the DHR's Information and Referral Office. Dial 1-800-564-9991 between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.
If you know of an interesting story about how the Persian Gulf situation is affecting life on the home front, please call 332-6465.
PERSIAN GULF SHOWDOWN
Frank D. Roylance and Laura Lippman contributed to this report.