Families raise funds for 155th

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 9, 2004

NATCHEZ &045;&045; Glenda Grayson believes that when her husband, Spc. Londell Grayson, is in Iraq, it will be the little things that he receives from home that will matter the most.

That is why she will be fundraising at a table, with other members of the Army National Guard’s 155th Infantry Family Support Group, in front of the doors of Wal-Mart on Dec 10 and 11 to raise money for care packages to send to the troops when they are deployed in Iraq.

&uot;We need to do this to show them that we care. They are going to need lots of things over there that the government won’t be able to provide. It will help boost moral and show them that we haven’t forgotten about them,&uot; she said.

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Members of the 155th are currently at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, CA and are expected to be in Iraq within the next few weeks.

Grayson said the care packages will be sent monthly to the troops and will contain baby wipes, breakfast bars, Chap Stick, powder drinks, bubble gum, deodorant, and other things to help the soldiers during a deployment that is expected to last from 18 to 24 months.

The family support group is hoping that the fundraiser will be a way to start to get the community more involved as the Natchez based National Guard unit serves overseas in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

&uot;We would like to see not only the family members get involved, but the entire community. I would like people to think ‘What if it was your son or husband that was going over?’&uot; said Grayson.

She said that the meetings of the family support group, which will be 1 p.m. at the armory on the second Saturday of every month starting February, are open to everyone who would like to show their support.

Debbie Spencer said that having a family support group would help her as she watches her only son, Pfc. Corey Spencer, go to Iraq for the first time.

&uot;Family support is so important, because no one really understands what you are going through unless they have been through it themselves.&uot;

Spencer said that although she is somewhat nervous, she is trying to think positively.

&uot;He has a motorcycle that he rides here, so maybe he will be safer over there in Iraq,&uot; she said.

The family support group is planning other things besides the care packages to support the troops and each other.

&uot;We are also trying to get T-shirts made that show our support for the 155th. We are planning to have special shirts for family members and shirts that we can sell to the public. We would also like to have things like garage sales or bake sales to raise money,&uot; Grayson said.

She said that all money raised would go to projects that support the soldiers and some funds may be set aside to help support family members who may experience financial difficulties due to a spouse or parent being deployed.

Grayson said that the family support group is also in need of volunteers who are willing to provide childcare during meetings.

Those who wish to join the join the Army National Guard’s 155th Infantry Family Support Group or are willing to volunteer in projects that support the troops can contact Sharon Goodrich at 446-6345 or Myrna Washington at 336-9813.