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    NSA Hampton Roads CPOs give back to homeless veterans



    Story by Katisha Draughn-Fraguada 

    Naval Support Activity Hampton Roads

    Chief Petty Officers (CPOs) from Naval Support Activity (NSA) Hampton Roads gave back to homeless veterans by rehabbing the outdoor recreation area for the Hampton Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center’s Domiciliary Unit on March 28.

    “This day was designated as a volunteer day for Hampton Roads area CPOs leading up to the Chiefs Birthday,” said Senior Chief Culinary Specialist Ryan Weimer, Senior Enlisted Leader at NSA Hampton Roads-Northwest Annex. “I wanted to specifically do something where we were giving back to the veterans in our community, so I reached out to the VA and they were excited to have us help out.”

    Approximately 15 CPOs spent the day refurbishing and re-staining park benches, building a new horseshoe pit area, and cleaning, repainting, and preserving a shuffleboard court in the recreation area.

    “This area plays an important role in the care and healing of our patients,” said Atalaya Horton-Keyes, Assistant Chief for the Center for Development and Civic Engagement with the VA. “Recreation Therapy helps improve social, cognitive, physical, and leisure needs of the veteran. Other benefits include reduction of stress and depression while increasing life satisfaction, confidence and self-esteem.”

    The VA houses over 100 homeless veterans at any given time, so having the recreation area available as an outlet for them is critical. The area had not been in use because of degradation for many years.

    “For us to be able to come and give them a place to get outside and have some fun felt really great,” said Weimer. “I think everyone who volunteered that day was aware that they will all be veterans themselves in the near future. So to give back to such an esteemed group of people, that we will all be joining, meant even more.”

    The CPOs hope to continue this new partnership with the VA and work on additional projects in the future.

    “It is important for our nation’s heroes to see active duty service members show their appreciation for those who have fought for our freedoms,” said Horton-Keyes. “And time is one of the most precious things you can give.”



    Date Taken: 03.28.2023
    Date Posted: 05.08.2023 19:17
    Story ID: 444318
    Location: HAMPTON , VA, US

    Web Views: 16
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