NMCB-11 Seabees bring holiday cheer to students of Chief Brodie Memorial Elementary School

By Construction Electrician 2nd Class Brooke Thompson

 

131220-N-ZE608-116 CAMP COVINGTON, Guam (Dec. 20, 2013) Students from Chief Brodie Memorial Elementary School pose with Chief Logistics Specialist Officer Anthony L. Qualls, dressed as Santa Claus, from Chicago, and two of his helpers, Construction Mechanic Chief Adolf C. Stelling from Princeton, Ind., and Lt. j.g. Paul E. Simpson, from Denver, Colo., assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 11, Det. Guam.  (U.S. Navy Photo by Construction Electrician 2nd Class Brooke Thompson)

131220-N-ZE608-116 CAMP COVINGTON, Guam (Dec. 20, 2013) Students from Chief Brodie Memorial Elementary School pose with Chief Logistics Specialist Officer Anthony L. Qualls, dressed as Santa Claus, from Chicago, and two of his helpers, Construction Mechanic Chief Adolf C. Stelling from Princeton, Ind., and Lt. j.g. Paul E. Simpson, from Denver, Colo., assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 11, Det. Guam. (U.S. Navy Photo by Construction Electrician 2nd Class Brooke Thompson)

CAMP COVINGTON, Guam — Chiefs and officers assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 11 donated 200 presents and spread cheer to students at Chief Brodie Memorial Elementary School, “Home of the Busy Bees,” in Guam, Dec. 20, 2013.

Chief Logistics Specialist Anthony L. Qualls, from Chicago, and Senior Chief Steelworker Michael G. Clodfelter, from Gautier, Miss., organized the event in order to carry on the annual Seabee tradition of supporting the school with gifts for the children.

This year, NMCB 11 raised the bar by donating 200 gifts. Combined with the teacher’s additional donations, 300 gifts in all were passed out, allowing every child to receive a present to place underneath their tree this Christmas.

Class by class, 300 students made their way to the school library greeted by Qualls, who was dressed up as Santa Claus.  Santa Claus and his helpers passed a special gift to each student.

“It was absolutely astounding to see the happiness on all the kids’ faces when they received a gift,” Qualls said.  “To bring that happiness to them was an honor.  We all had a great time doing it.”

The children weren’t the only ones who received a gift that day.  A class of second graders surprised the group of Seabees with their very own rendition of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”  Nine students dressed up as reindeer and acted their part as they sang and danced.

Chief Brodie Memorial Elementary has always been close to the hearts of the Navy Seabees.  The school is named after Chief Builder Clifford Brodie.

In 1960, Brodie and his crew dedicated their time and effort to build the school for the children of Guam.  During construction of the school, the crew was called away to assist with relief efforts after a Douglas DC-6AB plane crashed into Mount Barrigada.  Despite this initial setback to the completion of the school, Brodie and his crew still found time to return to the project and finish the elementary school.  Brodie passed away unexpectedly in his sleep on September 20th that same year, and the school was named in his honor.  Seabees in Guam have sustained the tradition of giving to the school for many years.

The Naval Construction Force is a vital component of the U.S. Maritime Strategy. They offer deployable battalions capable of providing contingency construction, disaster preparation and recovery support, humanitarian assistance, and combat operations support.

With its home-port in Gulfport, Miss., NMCB-11 is currently deployed to multiple locations in support of U.S. Africa Command, U.S. European Command, U.S. Central Command, and U.S. Pacific Command areas of responsibility.

 

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