A group of more than 100 sailors assigned to the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) volunteered to clean up the historic beaches of Fort Monroe on August 2.
“We had 118 sailors participate in the beach cleanup this morning,” said Joan Baker, human resources manager at Fort Monroe. Baker said sailors received encouragement from bicyclists who cycled past as they cleaned the beaches. “The best part was when three bicyclists riding on the seawall passed the group picking up and yelled to them over and over ‘Thank you for doing this!’ I have come to think of these young men and women as ‘my kids’ and that made me very proud of them,” said Baker.
Fort Monroe is one of the longest standing posts in America’s military history. Established in 1609, Fort Monroe played a major role in establishing the first colonial states. The post was decommissioned Sept. 15, 2011. “This post is important to this area,” said Peter Stitzel, a machinist’s mate 3rd Class. “This beach is preserved so well and I am glad we have the chance to come help maintain it.” Personnel Specialist 1st Class Mishell Brownlee said she looks forward to contributing to other volunteer events in the future while Lincoln is undergoing a refueling and complex overhaul at Newport News Shipbuilding. “This COMREL (community relations event) was a great success,” said Brownlee. “The weather was just perfect for this event and I can see this event continuing to be a success. Joan Baker was a great host and I look forward to working with her in the future.”
Since returning from deployment in August 2012, Lincoln sailors have volunteered more than 5,000 hours in various communities in the Hampton Roads area. USS Abraham Lincoln is the fifth ship of the Nimitz class to undergo RCOH, a major life-cycle milestone. Once RCOH is complete, Lincoln will be one of the most modern and technologically advanced Nimitz-class aircraft carriers in the fleet and will continue to be a vital part of the nation’s defense.
For more news from USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn72/.
By Seaman Phylicia Hanson, USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs