A pair of love birds who met in church choir has spent the last 19 years in the military volunteering and taking care of people.
Tech. Sgt. Andre Murray, 435th Security Forces Squadron, and his wife, Sharon, 435th Logistics Readiness Group, give back to the military community every day with their big, open hearts.
“We are blessed to have our families and if we can be a blessing to someone else, why not,” said Mrs. Murray.
***image1***The Murray’s, who met in a Brooklyn, N.Y., church when they were 11 and 12 years old, have two sons, Andre Jr., 16, and Dreshawn, 14. The Murray’s joke that their house is a revolving door for friends of their sons who hang out at their home. However, they said they wouldn’t want it any other way.
The Murray’s home is especially popular each year on Thanksgiving when they open up their home to a free, home-cooked Thanksgiving meal with all the fixings.
“This year we had more than 70 people join us for Thanksgiving,” said Sergeant Murray. “We are all in the same situation; we’re all far away from home.”
The Murray’s Thanksgiving dinner included shift workers, injured troops, their children’s friends and people who had heard about the dinner through word of mouth.
The Murrays have opened their home to military families on Thanksgiving for the past 18 years, six of those years here at Ramstein.
“It has become a tradition for many KMC families and Airmen,” said Mrs. Murray. “When we PCS to new bases, people always wonder where they will go for the next Thanksgiving since we won’t be there.”
Beside the Thanksgiving feast, the Murrays spend most of their free time volunteering throughout the community.
Sergeant Murray has been a member of the American Youth Association for six years, and has been president of the board for the past three. He also coaches KMC Little League baseball. He was named the 435th Services Group KMC Volunteer of the Year for 2004/2005.
Mrs. Murray, laughing, said she dresses half the kids for the prom. Since her sons are high school-aged, the boys and their friends rely on Mrs. Murray for coordinating their attire. Since Mrs. Murray’s family lives in New York City, she has even gone to the extreme of buying prom dresses in the metropolitan area and bringing them back to Ramstein in time for prom.
In addition to the prom, Mrs. Murray is also expected to attend the games for her children and their friends — which she does with great joy.
The Murrays have also extended their family when friends have deployed. They have watched a friend’s 2-year-old for three months and a neighbor’s 16-year-old for four months.
“We love our two kids, and we know people would look out for them and take care of them, just as we do for other kids,” said Mrs. Murray.
After 19 years of taking care of the military community, the Murray’s said it is in their veins and just what people do for each other.