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    Shipmates Help Shipmates in the Spirit of Holiday Season at Pax

    Shipmates Help Shipmates in the Spirit of Holiday Season at Pax

    Photo By Donna M Cipolloni | PATUXENT RIVER (Dec. 8, 2017) - Chief Aviation Electronics Technician Terrance Rivers,...... read more read more



    Story by Donna M Cipolloni 

    Naval Air Station Patuxent River

    The NAS Patuxent River Chief Petty Officer Association (CPOA) is partnering with local Fleet Reserve Association (FRA) Branch #93 to make sure deserving Sailors and Marines aboard Pax River receive a gift basket full of goodies for the holidays.

    The FRA, a non-profit organization that works for the benefit of active duty, retired and veteran members of the Sea Services — the Navy, Marines and Coast Guard — has been conducting the Holiday Gift Basket program for years.

    “I’ve been the holiday basket coordinator since 1998,” said FRA member and Navy veteran Kelly A. Courtney, now working in support of NAVAIR and AIRWorks programs. “The intent is to help out our Sailors and Marines who need a little extra help through the holidays. [The program is] made possible through donations from local contractors onboard and around Pax River, as well as the American Legion, CPOA and personal contributions.”

    The baskets will be filled with a variety of food items including those necessary for a traditional holiday meal, such as a 12-pound turkey with all the trimmings and a pie for dessert.

    In addition to the edible contents, age-appropriate and gender-specific gifts are included for the service members’ children.

    “There’s an Angel Tree decorated with giving tree ornaments at both the FRA and CPOA locker so that individuals can choose [an ornament] and purchase the gifts to be included in the baskets,” noted Chief Aviation Electronics Technician Terrance J. Rivers.

    Rivers, and his co-coordinator for the CPOA portion of the program, Chief Hospital Corpsman Ed Cornelius, said they had sent out prior notice to Pax River senior enlisted leaders and command master chiefs requesting the names of Sailors and Marines — primarily in the E-5 and below categories, with dependents — who need assistance through the holidays.

    “Chief Rivers and I then took the information [about their children] and made the Angel Tree tags,” Cornelius added. “This is one of the perks of the job. Getting to help our Sailors wherever, whenever we can.”

    After the food supplies are purchased at the Pax commissary, the group will head to the FRA offices where other volunteers will join them to sort, wrap and pack the individual baskets, and deliver them the next day.

    “The chain of command delivers to the service member privately at the command,” Rivers said. “The member doesn’t know they’re receiving a basket until it’s presented.”

    Both men like the fact that the Pax River CPOA and the FRA are working hand-in-hand to take care of junior service members.

    “There are a lot of great programs out there,” Rivers said, “but being able to support the Sailors and Marines you work with on a daily basis is very rewarding.”



    Date Taken: 12.15.2017
    Date Posted: 12.15.2017 11:11
    Story ID: 259060
    Location: PATUXENT RIVER, MD, US 

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