Seabee Battalion Aims to Cushion the Holiday Financial Impact for Some with Food Donations

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jonathan Carmichael

121213-N-UH337-004 GULFPORT, Miss. (Dec. 13, 2012) Builder Constructionman Timothy C. Rogers, left, from Bohemia, N.Y., Chaplain, Lt. Brian E. Myers, right, from New London, Ohio, both assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 11, and Religious Program Specialist 3rd Class Jamie C. Hamm, center, from Baltimore, Md., assigned to Naval Construction Battalion Center (NCBC)Gulfport, sort through food donations from NMCB-11 to stock the Seabee Pantry in the Base Chapel on NCBC Gulfport. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jonathan Carmichael/Released)

GULFPORT, Miss. – Sailors assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 11 donated about 10 large boxes of food items to the Seabee Pantry on Naval Construction Battalion Center (NCBC) Gulfport this holiday season.

NMCB-11 Chaplain, Lt. Brian E. Myers, from New London, Ohio, initiated the drive.

“After Thanksgiving, I noticed that the Seabee Pantry’s supply had run low, and with the major holidays approaching, I knew something needed to be done,” said Myers.  “There was no doubt in my mind that the men and women of NMCB-11 would rise to the occasion and donate for a worthy cause.”

Myers, with the help of Builder Constructionman Timothy C. Rogers, originally from Bohemia, N.Y., also assigned to NMCB-11, distributed donation boxes to all of the companies and departments throughout the battalion and encouraged everyone to donate non-perishable food items.

Within the first two weeks of December, the battalion had accumulated about 500 pounds of donations including items such as canned foods, boxes of cereal, condiments, snack foods, and many other food items.

Located in NCBC’s Base Chapel, the Seabee Pantry provides help to military members and their dependants to include active duty, reservists, and retirees.

One NMCB-11 Seabee, who has utilized the Seabee Pantry, Construction Mechanic 2nd Class Jason M. Montgomery, is thankful that it has been available to him and his family of six.

“It has helped us through tough financial times on more than one occasion,” stated the Lisbon, Iowa native.  “I strongly recommend it to newly married junior troops and anyone struggling financially.  There is no shame in getting help when you need it.”

The Seabee Pantry is dependent on donations like those from NMCB-11 to continue to provide food to our service members, retirees and dependants.  Individuals, organizations, and other groups are encouraged to donate as well.

“I was surprised myself how many people weren’t aware of this,” said Religious Program Specialist 3rd Class Jamie C. Hamm, originally from Baltimore, Md., assigned to NCBC since June of 2011.

According to Hamm, the Seabee Pantry receives three or more patrons daily, and that number is expected to increase into the New Year as budgets become stretched thin with holiday travel and gift purchases.

The Seabee Pantry is open for patrons as well as donations between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.  For questions please call (228) 871-2454.

NMCB-11 is currently in the midst of a homeport cycle following an eight month deployment to Afghanistan and is preparing for its next deployment, set to begin near the end of the summer next year.