Service to Others: GW Sailors Help the Community

Story by Petty Officer 3rd Class Tatyana Freeman

Date: 01.30.2020
Posted: 02.07.2020 11:50
News ID: 362143

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - (Jan. 30, 2020) – While Sailors ashore and underway always have a plate full of tasks to do, those assigned to the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) have a different battle rhythm for their daily operations. Many individual departments and groups aboard the ship ensure that giving back to the community is an essential part of their refueling complex overhaul (RCOH) battle rhythm.
“We go to Peninsula Rescue Mission every Tuesday,” said Electronics Technician 1st Class Juan Montesinoreyes, a Sailor assigned to the combat systems department (CSD). “We help serve breakfast for the people that are homeless. We make it, serve it, and clean up afterwards.”
George Washington Sailors appreciate the opportunity to help the community in which they live.
“Volunteer service always makes me feel a sense of joy and makes me appreciate the things I have that many people usually take for granted,” said Interior Communications Electrician Seaman Akshay Mampilly, also assigned to CSD.
Volunteering is a great way for Sailors to get out into the community and help give back to those less fortunate. Many of the patrons of the Peninsula Rescue Mission have come on tough times in their lives, and George Washington Sailors are among the volunteers who show them they are not forgotten.
“The Sailors that volunteer help the patrons in basic physical ways, like setting up and washing dishes and serving, but they also help in non-physical ways by actually being here and showing that the community cares about the men that seek help here,” said John Twigg, the director of ministry operations for Peninsula Rescue Mission.
The Sailors typically serve around 20 or 30 people every time they go, and they fill a variety of roles while they are there.
“My favorite thing to do is to wash the dishes and clean,” said Mampilly. “For me it’s a challenge to wash dishes as fast as I can.”
Seeing Sailors also helps some of the people they serve remember old times they hold dear. It brings a sense of camaraderie and similarity between those who have served in the military and those who currently serve.
“It’s always fun to see patrons that were former military connect with current military members,” said Twigg. “They’ll swap jabs depending on what branch either one
Volunteering not only helps the people being served at Peninsula Rescue Mission, but it also benefits the Sailors that volunteer there.
“The fact that I affected someone else’s day and helped someone else have a good morning makes me feel productive and proud,” said Mampilly. “I think it shows a good image of the Navy’s core values and objectives. We’re always trying to better ourselves and better our community.”
In addition to the Peninsula Rescue Mission, George Washington Sailors serve their community in a variety of ways. Montesinoreyes, Mampilly, and others are committed to keeping the spirit of service to others going in other places as well.
“Right now the Peninsula Rescue Mission is the only place that we really volunteer, mainly due to our schedule, but eventually we’re going to see if we can volunteer a little more at an animal shelter close by,” said Montesinoreyes.
Despite busy schedules and stresses of ship life, George Washington Sailors will continue to volunteer and give back to the surrounding community one event at a time.
If Sailors are interested in volunteering throughout the community, the command religious ministries department (CRMD) offers a variety of opportunities. Stop by their office on the 3rd deck of the floating accommodation facility.