News: Service professionals recognized for outstanding efforts during Blizzard
Story by Joseph P Cirone
Twenty seven employees of the Naval Support Activity Washington Morale, Welfare and Recreation department were recognized at a ceremony held at Naval Support Facility Anacostia, March 4 for their outstanding efforts during the February 2010 Blizzard.
Capt. John Sears, commanding officer of NSAW told the employees, "I'm here to thank you personally for all of the hard work that you do."
"You provide outstanding support in a tough environment for people who also have tough jobs and just want things to go easy when they come for your services. They want to come home to a nice room, in a nice environment; they want to get good food and they want to have good entertainment. They just don't need it to be hard, because they have been working hard all day. You make sure that happens — all of the time. I appreciate all that you do," he continued.
Sears, assisted by Lee Bell, NSAW MWR Program Director and John "Mick" McAndrews, NSAW Director of Fleet and Family Readiness, provided the employees with letters of appreciation and cash awards.
Personal sacrifices recognized
Bachelor Housing and Funari Dining Facility employees were cited for the personal sacrifices made by staying on the installation and ensuring housing and hot food services for military and civilian personnel remained normal during the storm.
Navy Gateway Inns and Suites personal made similar sacrifices, but were faced with additional challenges when an electrical transformer that supplied the building, blew, forcing the transfer of Navy, Coast Guard and Marine Corps guests from the building to lodging at the adjacent Bolling Air Force Base.
Bell said, "They not only had to stay on base, away from their families, to provide services to the customers, but they also had to figure out a way to transition the customers to other locations. They did one heck of a good job!"
Liberty Center employees, although not deemed essential during unusual situations, also endured personal sacrifices. They stayed on the installation, providing quality recreational opportunities for military personnel throughout the storm, Bell said.
"I tell Captain Sears often how great a team we have here and how we cannot do the work we do without you. Mr. [John "Mick"] McAndrews and I certainly appreciate what you do. The awards you received today affirm that Captain Sears does as well," Bell told the 27 frontline professionals.
Sears echoed Bell's statement, "During the Blizzard, the Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen really needed you and you really came through. I can't tell you how proud I was. You pulled it off really well. You do the same day in and day out — I'm sure you never get enough thanks, so thanks!"
Sears told the awardees, "You are in that day-to-day business of giving comfort and help. Most people might take that for granted, I don't!"
Another demonstration of Joint Base teamwork
In his closing remarks, Sears spoke of the synergy between NSAW and the Air Force's 11th Wing.
"When we had to move guests from the Navy Gateway Inns and Suites to Bolling Air Force Base lodging, our lodging folks worked together and showed the kind of teamwork that joint basing is all about. One team, one fight, one mission to support people doing great things. This was a demonstration of the joint base team in the toughest conditions and you went the extra mile," he said.
"When other workers were at home taking the day off, you didn't. You gave up some of your personal life to help us continue our mission, uninterrupted. So give yourselves a hand," Sears concluded.
Light refreshments were served, while workers and leaders socialized after the ceremony.