CPO 365 Sailors Lend Hand to Local Cemetery


Story Number: NNS130526-04Release Date: 5/26/2013 5:11:00 AM
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By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jeffry Willadsen, Navy Public Affairs Support Element West, Det. Everett

MARYSVILLE, Wash. (NNS) -- Chief Petty Officers (CPOs) and first class petty officers from Naval Station Everett's (NSE) CPO 365 program participated in a community service (COMSERV) project to help maintain graves at the Marysville Cemetery May 23.

During the event Sailors cleaned headstones, cleared gravesites and placed American flags on graves in order to honor those veterans and to prepare the cemetery for Memorial Day.

"[Veterans] set the groundwork for where we are at today ... because of them we are able to appreciate and enjoy the luxuries and the things that we have," said Chief Navy Counselor Aaron Castillo, who organized and participated in the COMSERV. "It's not much, but it's just giving back to them and making sure that, though they are gone, they are not forgotten."

CPO 365, a year-long professional development and training program for 1st class petty officers, was first introduced in 2010 under former Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Rick West.

NSE Command Master Chief Joshua Dugan said this project not only honors veterans and helps the community, but also featured a key component to the CPO 365 program.

"We're honoring those who have gone before us ... at the same time, this forms a connection point to our history," said Dugan. "Chief Petty Officers are the keepers of tradition in the Navy. That is one of the main things we do, having that sense of heritage ... we have an obligation to the Navy, to the future chief petty officers, to teach them."

Sailors from the CPO 365 program, will also help to set up the cemetery's annual American flag display for the Memorial Day weekend.

The more than 230 American flags were draped over veterans graves and donated by their families, and are scheduled to be displayed in the cemetery over the weekend.

Scott Locke, the administrator of the cemetery and retired Navy veteran, appreciated the efforts of the Sailors.

"It means a lot," said Locke. "To have more people out there helping this look better for Memorial Day is just awesome."

For more information, visit www.navy.mil, www.facebook.com/usnavy, or www.twitter.com/usnavy.

For more news from Navy Public Affairs Support Element West, Det. Northwest, visit www.navy.mil/local/nwpacen/.

 
RELATED PHOTOS
Electronics Technician 1st Class Tracy Rico places an American flag at a gravesite at the Marysville Cemetery during a CPO 365 community relations project.
130523-N-MM360-095.jpg MARYSVILLE, Wash. (May 23, 2013) Electronics Technician 1st Class Tracy Rico places an American flag at a gravesite at the Marysville Cemetery during a CPO 365 community relations project. During the event, Sailors maintained graves of veterans at the cemetery in preparation for Memorial Day. CPO 365, a year-long development and training program for 1st class petty officers, was first introduced in 2010. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jeffry A. Willadsen)
May 26, 2013
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