Wife of student seeking to create care packages for National Guard members

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The wife of a SHSU student enlisted in the Texas National Guard is trying to get local citizens to send care packages to men in his unit.Sgt. Kale Murray, an agriculture major, has recently been activated, along with the rest of the 5th Battalion, 112th Armor under Title Ten as part of President Bush’s Homeland Security. His wife, Krista, a recent Sam Houston psychology graduate, is encouraging people in the Huntsville community to assemble care packages, to help ease boredom on the base.Sgt. Murray had served for nine years in active duty in the Army, and spent the last four and half years in reserve for the National Guard while studying at SHSU.Krista said the care packages should consist of things such as granola bars, snack foods letters from home, holiday objects and any other items the soldiers may appreciate.”Homemade brownies, books, magazines,” said Krista. “Anything that can entertain them.”Sgt. Murray and the rest of the troops in his battalion have been sent to guard a chemical weapon stockpile at an anonymous military post. The troops are expected to remain at the stockpile for at least a year.Barbara Slifer, a public affairs officer for the U.S. Army, said the troops arrived at the post in August and were processed in on the Aug. 19. She said the number of troops activated from the local Huntsville battalion is approximately 200.The troops have been placed at the post in order to protect the stockpile from terrorist attacks. Slifer said the soldiers would remain on the post until a new incinerator is completed, to destroy the stockpile.” (It’s) so we can destroy the chemicals safely our way, and not someone else’s way, ” said Slifer.Slifer said the military post that houses the chemical stockpile normally has a population of about 40 soldiers, but after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the federal government has authorized for more active soldiers on the post.Title Ten of the United States Code states the federal government reserves the right to activate reserve troops in the case of a national emergency, such as an invasion or a rebellion. The title, first issued in 1956, makes all National Guardsmen members of the U.S. Army Ready Reserve.Senior Jennifer Price said she supports the activation of the troops.”I think they should take on that duty with pride, because their country needs them,” said Price. “I think they should do their duty to the best of their ability.”Krista said that while most people seem to be aware of the hard work soldiers are doing in Afghanistan, most people do not know the danger soldiers stationed in the United States face.”I think that people forgot that we have those people there,” she said.Krista said the troops currently are working long days at the post, in 16-hour shifts, and the care packages will help alleviate the homesickness the troops feel and also show them their work is appreciated.”These guys are in a very stressful, dangerous situation, and I think we should support them and remember that,” Krista said.Krista also said she was informed that when his time comes for a furlough, her husband will only receive a one or two day break before having to report back to the post.Slifer said the federal government is currently planning to activate more reserve troops to be deployed at the post, in order to lessen the work of soldiers already stationed there.Krista said she is hoping to gain supporters mostly through word of mouth, and that whenever people have anything they can spare, to just give it to her or her husband’s sister and mother, Carolyn and Janice Murray.”Not everyone can just send something,” Krista said. “It has to got through a central person.”Anyone interested in sending a care package can contact Krista at 435-1848.