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    Submarine Officer Advanced Course Student Takes Initiative to Beautify the Community

    Taking Pride in SUBASE one Generous Action at a Time

    Photo By Seaman Jimmy Ivy | 210417-N-EJ843-0027 GROTON, Conn. (April 17, 2021) Lt. Derek Simons, a student at...... read more read more



    Courtesy Story

    Naval Submarine School

    Story by Mass Communications Specialist Seaman Jimmy Ivy III, Naval Submarine Base New London Public Affairs

    GROTON, Conn. – “Pitch-in, Pick-up, Take Pride,” has been a long Naval Submarine Base (SUBASE) New London call to maintaining installation upkeep and beautification, and a few generous volunteers took individual action to take pride in the base and its surroundings, April 17.

    Lt. Derek Simons, a student at Naval Submarine School in the Submarine Officer Advanced Course, and his wife Sarah took the initiative to enhance the community and base interface at the Main Gate. It was a continuation of an effort they’ve taken for some time in making a difference in their community.

    “I like to go on walks with our kids and I just noticed a lot of trash around the community,” said Sarah. “I just started picking up trash as I walked. Before I knew it, I got Derek involved and we were picking up enough trash to fill a truck.”

    With this new love for finding ways to make the community look better, the Simons’ noticed the outside of the base didn’t have many flowers or shrubs. After talking to SUBASE Public Works, the Town of Groton, and the state Department of Transportation they received approval for their beautification project near the base’s Main Gate.

    “The base was really great about noticing what we were doing and showing appreciation,” said Sarah as she worked to turn a traffic circle island into a planting bed. “We’re starting here right outside of the base, but have already been approved to plant flowers in front of the base sign [near Route 12] as well.”

    A local plant farm donated the flowers and old friends also donated their time. Andrew Chen who served onboard USS Louisiana (SSBN 743) with Derek in 2016, travelled back to Groton from New Jersey for the project.

    “It feels great coming back here,” said Chen, who was accompanied by his wife Janice, in adding helping hands. “It’s definitely one of those things that the further away you get from it the more you appreciate it and want to give back. It was like a walk down memory lane driving back up here.”

    While the planting project effort took the better part of a Saturday afternoon, the plants will require little effort in care.

    “They may need trimming in a couple of years, but we purposely got stuff that was low maintenance and should continue by itself with just the natural watering,” said Derek, who expects to be back at SUBASE in about five years to go through another phase of school. He and Sarah look forward to not only checking in on the project’s growth then, but also possibly carrying out a few more beautification initiatives. For the Simons, the old SUBASE adage is truly a call to action: “Pitch-in, Pick-up, Take Pride.”



    Date Taken: 05.08.2021
    Date Posted: 05.08.2021 09:05
    Story ID: 395963
    Location: GROTON, CT, US 

    Web Views: 24
    Downloads: 0