Save Red River Army Depot efforts are kindled by $10,000 donation

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November 24, 2015, Texarkana, TX- Supporting and sustaining Red River Army Depot (RRAD) and the Defense Complex, our region’s largest employer and economic driver, are the reasons one local business man offered a donation toward efforts to steer the Department of Defense away from discussions about base closure or realignment (BRAC). Bob Murray, of MTG Engineers and Surveyors of Texarkana, recently presented a $10,000 check to members of the Red River Lone Star Support Committee to help fund initiatives that keep legislators informed of the critical role RRAD plays on a regional and national level.

Established during BRAC 2005, local organizers of the Support Committee feel it is again necessary to prepare for possible DOD recommendations that may involve RRAD. As a longtime resident of Texarkana, Murray remembers when employees and citizens of Northeast Texas feared losing the Depot to BRAC and he wants to ensure that work is in progress to help avoid being on the list again. Murray knows firsthand the vital link between our region’s economic stability and the future of the Depot.

“My family has owned our business in Texarkana since 1962,” Murray said. “Without a doubt, if we were to lose RRAD in our region, we all would feel the economic impact on our families and our businesses. When you have an entity that adds over $2.3 billion per year to our local economy, we have to do all we can as a community to support efforts to keep it strong and resilient. Our company is grateful for the opportunities we have had through the years because of the relationship of RRAD with the local community and this is our way of giving back.”

Members of the Red River Lone Star Support Committee will strategically use these funds to strengthen relations with legislative and military officials who oversee BRAC efforts at the Pentagon. By working closely with RRAD officials and local business leaders through the Texarkana Chamber of Commerce over the years, the Support Committee has helped secure additional work contracts for the Depot. Some of the contracts include maintenance work on specialized military vehicles including AMPVs, HMMWV and repairs on CAT engines. In addition, the Support Committee members have effectively negotiated with DOD officials to stop implementation of moving work away from the Depot and into the private sector. These efforts successfully led to RRAD dodging two recent rounds of BRAC discussions- one in 2013 and another in early in 2015.

Mr. Dennis Lewis, a member of the Support Committee, said, “Keeping jobs at Red River Army Depot is a priority. Over 15,000 people’s jobs are either directly or indirectly impacted by the Depot every year. If we were to lose those jobs, who is going to make up for it? That’s the reason we work so hard to keep RRAD strong.”

Lewis, along with members of the Red River Lone Star Support Committee, hope Murray’s substantial donation will encourage other individuals and business owners to follow suit.

Interested persons can learn more about supporting the Save RRAD initiative by calling the Texarkana Chamber of Commerce at 903-792-7191 or by visiting the Save Red River Army Depot website at http://saveredriverarmydepot.com/.
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