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    CVC opening also serves as reunion for former shipmates

    CVC Opening Serves as Reunion for Former Shipmates

    Photo By Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael Lehman | U.S. Navy Cmdr. Greg Leveque, the officer in charge of the state-run,...... read more read more

    NORFOLK, VA, UNITED STATES

    03.31.2021

    Story by Paul Noel 

    Federal Vaccine Response

    NORFOLK, Va. (March 31, 2021) – For 135 Hampton Roads Sailors, it was the official opening day of the state-run, federally-supported Military Circle Mall Community Vaccination Center, but for the officer in charge and Virginia’s Second District Congresswoman, is was also reunion of former shipmates.

    The Military Circle Mall CVC in Norfolk opened with a visit and remarks from Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, who was accompanied by several congressional, state and local leaders. U.S. Rep. Elaine Luria (D-Va.), a retired Navy Commander, attended the opening of the site that is located in Virginia’s Second District. The retired nuclear-trained Surface Warfare Officer, was met by the CVC officer in charge, Cmdr. Greg Leveque, who served with Luria onboard the USS Enterprise in 2006.

    Leveque was a Lieutenant Junior Grade at the time and served with Luria while she was in charge of reactor training on the Enterprise.

    “I was fortunate enough to work with her on the drill team,” Leveque said. “We took part in six-hour drills every night while on deployment.”

    Luria said she was glad to see her old shipmate and quipped that putting a nuclear officer in charge guaranteed an efficient operation.

    “I’ve known Greg for a long time,” she said. “We served together on the USS Enterprise and I really can’t think of anyone better or more capable to put together an operation like this.”

    Luria added that during her walkthrough of the CVC, she often heard feedback from community members that they felt welcome and comfortable with the vaccination process. FEMA also provided sign language interpreters and materials in five different languages to assure they could serve a wide demographic.

    “I think the team has gone out of their way to ease any concerns and make people feel welcome,” she said. “It’s great to have this opportunity to have federal, state, local government coordinating. The goal is to just get the vaccine out every way we can -- and as safely as we can -- and we’re going to reach over 20,000 people a week at this site, so that’s just incredible for our region.”

    Leveque said the reunion quickly closed the gap on the years since he and Luria served together.

    “As soon as I mentioned some of the folks we worked with, it definitely brought back some memories of the work we did together on deployment,” he said. “Having worked with her and knowing the kind of person she is and how much she cares for what she’s doing and the community she’s involved in, it’s definitely a good feeling knowing she’s involved.”

    Prior to her election in 2018, Luria served two decades in the Navy, retiring at the rank of Commander. She served at sea on six ships as a nuclear-trained Surface Warfare Officer, deployed to the Middle East and Western Pacific, and culminated her Navy career by commanding a combat-ready unit of 400 Sailors.

    Sailors from across Hampton Roads are supporting Department of Defense federal vaccine response efforts in vaccination sites in New York, Boston and Norfolk. U.S. North Command, through U.S. Army North, remains committed to providing continued, flexible Department of Defense support to the Federal Emergency Management Agency as part of the whole-of-government response to COVID-19.

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 03.31.2021
    Date Posted: 04.08.2021 02:11
    Story ID: 392814
    Location: NORFOLK, VA, US 

    Web Views: 7
    Downloads: 0

    PUBLIC DOMAIN