BREMERTON, Washington – Sailors from USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) took part in several community relations events over two weeks beginning March 9.
Sailors volunteered for a Naval Base Kitsap-Bremerton cleanup, helped out at St. Vincent de Paul food bank, and visited with veterans at the Washington Veterans Home in Port Orchard and the Veterans Affairs Puget Sound Health Care system in Seattle.
“We are ambassadors, we set an example and we want to be known for doing good things for our community and our nation,” said Operations Specialist 1st Class Joseph Snowden, from Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Events like base cleanups, assisting at a food bank and visiting a veterans’ home provide opportunities for John C. Stennis Sailors to participate in, and build, strong relationships with the community.
At the veterans’ homes, Sailors had a chance to speak with veterans in their rooms.
“While it’s a good opportunity to get off the ship, it’s more important that John C. Stennis Sailors are learning from people in our community,” said Air Traffic Controlman 2nd Class Michael Clingaman, from San Diego, who volunteered at the Washington Veterans Home in Port Orchard, “In our case it was meeting veterans and getting to hear their stories of the military of the past.”
Chief Aviation Boatswains Mate (Handling) William J. Wagner, from Phoenix, who volunteered at the St. Vincent de Paul food bank, said having John C. Stennis Sailors work hand-in-hand with the local community sped up the work process and allowed more work to be completed.
Sailors also spent time cleaning up Naval Base Kitsap-Bremerton, John C. Stennis’ homeport.
“I like coordinating events like base or local area cleanups within my department, so we can keep the neighborhood clean for our community and ourselves”, said Master Chief Aviation Boatswain’s Mate Jack Hudson, from Mexico, Missouri. “It makes the Sailors feel like they’re doing a great job and it’s very rewarding to see them happy with the work they have done.”
John C. Stennis Sailors expressed support for community relations events conducted by the command.
“I’m most excited about giving back to the community,” said Clingaman “I’m a prior Eagle Scout so I’m used to giving back to the community and helping them realize that someone’s out there to help them out.”
John C. Stennis is conducting a planned incremental availability (PIA) at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility, during which the ship is undergoing scheduled maintenance and upgrades. Throughout PIA, John C. Stennis Sailors are conducting community service events, providing opportunities to support the communities in which they live.