PORT ORCHARD, Wash. – Sailors assigned to the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) took part in a community relations (COMREL) event at Retsil Washington Veteran’s Home in Port Orchard, Wash., August 11.
The Sailors assisted The Home’s staff by serving the mostly veteran residents food and even played a few games of bingo with them. The residents were able to meet new faces from the community that they could relate to in a one-on-one setting, sharing stories from their military careers.
“I love seeing them come to visit,” said Michael Allison, a former Army veteran, from Silverdale. “They remind me of the service members I used to work with in a naval shipyard. It’s cool to see how our service has changed over the years.”
COMRELs like these provide the opportunity for Sailors to positively connect with their local community and give back to the past generations who have once served them.
“It’s great to interact with those in the community and be there with them,” said Aviation Electronic Technician 1st Class Carl George. “We’re paying it forward by visiting them. One day we’ll be in a place like this and will want people to visit us. Seeing their faces light up means the world. You feel like you’re making a difference to them and yourself, and in the end just want to come back again and again.”
Nimitz Sailors have been visiting the residents for the past two years while the ship has been in the shipyards and expect to continue to do so into the future even after a scheduled 2017 deployment.
Story and photos by MC3 Lauren Jennings