NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS) -- George Washington's Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) team hosted 'GW Tides Day' at Harbor Park in Norfolk, April 25. Sailors took the day off to attend the Norfolk Tides and Lehigh Valley Ironpigs baseball game.
Work life aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) can be tough and sometimes mundane as the ship goes through refueling complex overhaul (RCOH). To help Sailors stay motivated and refreshed, it is good to take a break from turning wrenches, laying paint and many of the other day-to-day tasks aboard the ship.
"The command ball game is pretty much a standard for all CVNs," said Lt. j.g. Whitney Morey, the MWR division officer and a Tides Day coordinator. "It's a hugely supported waterfront activity. So, because the Tides are so closely located to Norfolk, pretty much every CVN in port during the baseball season will have a day to go see a game. We will always have a command baseball day just because it's a good time for Sailors, and they can bring their families too."
As Sailors entered the stadium to take their seats, the sound of conversations and laughter grew louder and louder as fans interacted with their family and friends.
"We don't get too many events where we get to involve family," said Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Rashad Beaman, a GW Tides Day attendee. "This was the first time my family was able to meet the chain of command and get that face-to-face interaction with them. Everyone knows if you have a family whether spouse, mother, father or whatever, they don't get to see what we do on an everyday basis, so I think it's good they can meet the people that we interact with, which helps build a tighter bond."
Beaman also spoke on the importance of having events like Tides Day and the type of impact it can have on the crew.
"If we could do events like this again soon, or every quarter, by all means, I would love to attend them," said Beaman. "This event brings the morale up. It gets Sailors out to a stress-free environment to have fun, eat together and enjoy each other's company. We are in RCOH, which is a very high-tempo and high-stress environment, so, getting out to take those breaks is important for morale and keeping everyone mentally healthy."
George Washington's MWR team recognizes the importance of creating opportunities for Sailors to include their families in command-sponsored events, like this one.
"It's something people love to do and they are very enthusiastic about it," said Morey. "It's a huge morale boost for people, and with the numbers that we had come out, this was more than we expected. We know that the command hugely supports this event, which is great."
Even though the Norfolk Tides lost their games, the George Washington Sailors scored a win by having a good time with friends, family and food. After huge success with GW's Tides Day, high expectations are being held for the next family-friendly event happening in July.
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