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    Naval Submarine School Sailor Recognized for Outstanding Community Service



    Story by Ensign Charles E. Spirtos 

    Naval Submarine School

    GROTON, Conn. - Sonar Technician Submarine 1st Class Jayro Mejia was presented with the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal by Capt. Eric M. Sager, commanding officer, Naval Submarine School (NSS) at a ceremony onboard Naval Submarine Base New London on Friday, March 11, 2022.

    A native of Brooklyn, New York, Mejia has served at Naval Submarine School since 2019. He has served as the leading chief petty officer (LCPO) of the sonar “A” school, and also as a sonar “A” school instructor. Mejia also served as Naval Submarine School’s lead Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) victim advocate, where he provided countless hours of dedicated support to NSS Sailors.

    Mejia received the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service medal in recognition of his outstanding public service in the Groton and greater Connecticut communities. Completing 170 hours of community service between 2019 and 2022, Mejia’s service went far above and beyond what is expected of a Sailor.

    Mejia has supported a variety of organizations including: Bells Across America, Fairview Retirement Community, United Service Organizations (USO), SUBVETS, Norwich Free Academy, Fitch High School, Navy & Marine Corps Relief Society, Connecticut Lions Club, and the Navy Morale, Welfare, and Recreation program.

    Mejia also provided service to six local town halls throughout the state of Connecticut.

    “Mejia’s selfless participation in the local community and mentorship are admirable and worthy of the award of the Military Outstanding Service Medal,” said Sager.

    Mejia was grateful for the award, and said that despite the countless hours spent serving others, even when coupled with his day-to-day job responsibilities, the volunteering never felt like work.

    “Being in the Navy, we’re always busy. So I’m never too busy to give back to the community,” said Mejia.

    Mejia had no volunteer experience prior to joining the Navy, and was inspired by his service in the submarine force to give back to the community at large. Some of the projects completed during his community service included the construction of a jungle gym in a local park, as well as base beautification.

    Mejia enjoyed mentoring junior Sailors on the value of giving back to the community, and forming connections with veterans and other service groups.

    “I really felt the community when working with SUBVETS in particular, and being able to honor those who have served before us very gratifying,” said Mejia.

    While he has found all of his volunteer experiences to be fulfilling, Mejia said that the most solemn and rewarding experiences were while providing military funeral honors to fallen service members and their families.

    He recalled one opportunity in particular which stuck out to him as the most poignant— providing honors to the family of Electronics Technician 2nd Class Dustin L. Donyon, of Suffield, Conn. Donyon died in 2017 following the fatal collision of the USS John S. McCain (DDG 56).

    “Being able to honor our nation’s heroes, like ET2 Donyon, was one of the most gratifying experiences I have had,” said Mejia. “In the Navy, we are all a family, and I felt the responsibility to provide that support to his family in such a tragic time.”

    Sager noted that Mejia’s service served as an inspiration to other Sailors.
    “STS1 Mejia’s countless hours of support provided to community organizations throughout the state of Connecticut exemplifies the time-honored tradition of service within the submarine community,” said Sager.

    “Devoting his time to the assistance of others, Mejia is proof that our Sailors’ service extends beyond the boundaries of our base. Our Sailors are producing lasting impacts every day in our local communities, and it is my hope that others follow in STS1 Mejia’s selfless footsteps.”

    Prior to his assignment at NSS, Mejia served aboard the USS Jimmy Carter (SSN 23). He was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal on three occasions, and was previously named both the Naval Submarine School Sailor of the Quarter, and Junior Instructor of the Quarter.

    The Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal is awarded to members of the United States Armed who perform outstanding volunteer community service. The service must be to the civilian community, to include the military family community; be significant in nature and produce tangible results; reflect favorably upon the Military Service; and be sustained and direct.



    Date Taken: 03.11.2022
    Date Posted: 03.11.2022 07:17
    Story ID: 416243
    Location: GROTON, CT, US 
    Hometown: BROOKLYN, NY, US

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