USS NASSAU, At Sea (NNS) -- The Armed Services Young Men's Christian Association (AR YMCA) visited USS Nassau's (LHA 4) Chief Petty Officer Mess on Feb. 13 to express gratitude for assistance the mess provided in 2006.
Several chiefs assisted in refurbishing the recreation room at the AR YMCA in Virginia Beach, Va., in August and September. Thanks to the volunteer labor provided by the selectees, the YMCA saved more than over $3,500 in refurbishment costs.
According to Chief Information Systems Technician (AW/SW) Gene Crozier, the 2007 chief petty officer season community service project chairman, the chief selectees replaced the sunken ceiling, removed carpeting, and resurfaced the foundation before laying new tile, replaced a toilet gasket and numerous fluorescent light fixtures, installed a new chair rail and repainted the entire room.
"The complication of the demanding schedule of Nassau while in the yards proved to be a challenge these selectees were up to. I had set them up for success or failure and they absolutely shone with motivation and a 'can do' spirit," said Crozier.
"I took away a great sense of accomplishment. It was interesting getting 12 diverse personnel to work together as a team and get the job done. It was a lot of work, but we had fun at the same time. I hope the kids really enjoy what we did to the room," said Chief Aviation Maintenance Administrationman (AW/SW) Mary Johnson.
The YMCA has been a positive place for children for many years and continues to support the local community.
"It felt good helping the [YMCA]. It was a big part of my life in the 70's. A chance to give back to the place that gave so much to me just felt right. Refurbishing a lounge, building a fence, cleaning the gym/recreation room, it didn't matter, I wanted to help from the start," said Chief Machinist Mate (SW) William Leikam.
National representatives from the YMCA were present for a ribbon cutting ceremony while the ship was underway and there was press coverage at a local and national level through the YMCA national public affairs officer.
"The great attitude these Sailors portrayed toward the civilian community was nothing less than phenomenal; the crew should be very appreciative of the character these present day chief petty officers displayed," said Crozier.
For related news, visit USS Nassau's Navy NewsStand page at www.navy.mil/local/lha4.