main story image for facebook sharing

History and Heritage

Sailors' Gift for the Navy's Birthday

Celebrating 239 Years with an Attitude of Gratitude

All Hands Magazine wanted to find the perfect gift for the Navy's 239th birthday. It was a daunting task. After all, as the old saying goes, "What do you give someone who has everything?"

And then we met retired Gunner's Mate 1st Class Tom Lowney who knew exactly what to give. After spending 20 years loving every minute of being an active-duty Sailor, Lowney is now giving every spare moment of his after-Navy life preserving and restoring the battleship USS Massachusetts, located at Battleship Cove in Fall River, Massachusetts.

Lowney visited the ship as a sea cadet when he was a child, and that experience inspired him to join the Navy years later. Now, he volunteers on the ship and through his efforts, he is inspiring a new generation to think about being part of the Navy's future.

Master-at-Arms 1st Class Tim Barreras met Lowney while visiting Battleship Cove shortly after being assigned to a Navy station in neighboring Rhode Island. Barreras had been looking for volunteer opportunities and Lowney was eager to show him the impact he could have by volunteering on Massachusetts.

Barreras, the son of two former Sailors, said his very existence is due to the Navy and its Sailors, and he always looks for ways to give back to the service responsible for his life, and his career.

He could be enjoying his shore duty by spending Saturdays visiting the various beautiful tourist attractions in the area, but he chooses to put on coveralls and do the kind of work most Sailors dread.

Their love for the Navy shows not only in their work, but also in their attitude of gratitude. What more could the Navy ask for?

Watch the video to see these Sailors give the gift of true dedication.

Off-duty volunteering is an important part of today's Navy. To find out more about community service and volunteering, visit the Navy Community Service Program website HERE.