TX, UNITED STATES
Sgt. Amberlee Bouverhuis
AUSTIN, Texas - Camp Mabry opened its doors to the public during its annual Texas Military Department Open House and American Heroes Air Show April 21-22 2018. During the event organizations State Active Duty mission was highlighted.
“ For a state active duty mission, we respond to a multiple of things whether it be forest fires, flooding, winter events, whenever we have ice or snow and of course hurricanes,” said Chief Master Sgt. Michael Cornitius, Command Senior Enlisted Leader for the Texas Military Department. “It’s a state support piece, so we can help Texans, which is what we are here for.”
The Texas National Guard and State Guard is composed of service members that the State Governor can activate to State Active Duty status in response to natural, man-made disasters or Homeland Defense missions.
Recently the Texas Military Department responded to the Governor's call for Hurricane Harvey relief efforts, assisting local services in rescue and aid to those affected by the disaster. Two Soldiers with 551st Multi-Role Bridge Co., 386th Engineer Battalion, 176th Engineer Brigade out of El Campo, Texas, were present at the open house to share their stories about their role in the relief effort.
“We went out on the first day after Harvey hit to the nearby communities of Katy, Texas.” said Sgt. Robert Matthews.
“It was a challenge to see the loss, but we saved a lot of people and the lives are what matters.” said Sgt. Willie Wallace.
Opportunities for service members to share their stories with the public is why Cornitius says the open house is important.
“It’s a chance for us to showcase the tools, equipment, and the soldiers and airmen available to help the state and our citizens” said Cornitius. “The citizens of Austin get to come out and look at what we have and how we are supporting them.”
This two day event hosted over 5,000 guests, who were able to see and interact with Texas Military service members and learn about their State Active Duty capabilities.