HARTFORD, Conn. --
Connecticut Gov. M. Jodi Rell says she has raised more than $253,000 to hire a fleet of buses that will transport about 700 National Guard troops home for Christmas and New Year celebrations. Rell says "Operation Home for the Holidays" will benefit Connecticut National Guard troops training in Indiana and Wisconsin ahead of deployment to Afghanistan and Iraq early next year.
About 600 members of the 1st Battalion of the 102nd Infantry Regiment are set to get a 10-day holiday break from their mobilization station in Indiana. More than 100 members of the 250th Engineering Company will also get time off from training in Wisconsin.
The money also will pay for entertainment, such as movies and meals, for troops who cannot travel home or have no family in Connecticut.