EVERETT, Wash. (NNS) -- Being stationed away from home and loved ones can take its toll on personnel especially around the holidays, but Naval Station Everett single Sailors and geographical bachelors have a program to make that time spent apart a little easier.
The Liberty Program offers a variety of activities including video game tournaments, movie nights, trips and volunteer events.
"It's a way for them to create a community," said Julie Hollatz, Liberty Program advisor. "We try to create a home away from home for these Sailors ,because it's pretty hard when they haven't been home for months or even years."
Sailors can choose to participate in the structured activities or take advantage of the individual recreation options in the newly remodeled Vibes Liberty Center located in the Commons.
"Every night they can come and pick a movie, play pool or they can play in the music room," Hollatz said. "They've got choices."
In addition to the pool tables, televisions and music room, Vibes also has video game stations, computers and a resource center.
"With the new remodel, there is a staff area that's manned from 1 p.m. to 11 p.m. weekdays and 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. on the weekends," Hollatz said. "Sailors can check out video games and movies."
Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Equipment) Airman Apprentice Shalane Crazy Bull of NAVSTA Everett uses Vibes every weekday.
"I watch movies and use the computers to keep in contact with my family," she said. Crazy Bull also said that using the center makes sense financially.
"If people come here, they'll save money."
Most of the events Liberty offers are low cost or free.
"We offer free snacks with most of our trips too," Hollatz said.
With the holidays fast approaching, the Liberty Program is gearing up to keep Sailors busy. There will be free pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving Day and gift wrapping stations in Vibes and in the barracks.
One of the most popular events of the holiday season is the Christmas Eve party and Casino Night Dec. 24. From 6 p.m. to midnight, Sailors can sample free food, play games, win prizes and compete in pool and video game tournaments.
"We usually get around 200 Sailors at that event," Hollatz said. "It gives the Sailors who aren't going home a fun event, so they're not just sitting around. On Christmas Day, we plan a volunteer event to a soup kitchen in Seattle and a movie that night."
For more information on the Liberty Program or activities, stop by the Vibes Liberty Center or call (425)304-3577.
For more news from Navy Region Northwest, visit www.navy.mil/local/cnrnw.
For more news from Navy Public Affairs Support Element West, Det. Northwest, visit www.navy.mil/local/nwpacen/.