Story Number: NNS140903-20Release Date: 9/3/2014 3:42:00 PM
By Chris Wyatt, Norfolk Ship Support Activity Public Affairs
NORFOLK (NNS) -- Norfolk Ship Support Activity (NSSA) Sailors volunteered their time at The Talbot on Granby, a senior living retirement community, Aug. 29.
NSSA Sailors, in conjunction with Compassionate Care Hospice, held an award ceremony recognizing veterans. Compassionate Care Hospice Volunteer Coordinator Clara Ravenell shared why this day is so special to her.
"Today we have certificates and pins for each veteran and if that veteran is no longer living, we award their spouse. This is just our way of saying thank you and that we appreciate the contributions they have made to this country and to our military," said Ravenell.
NSSA Sailors awarded 40 veterans and spouses for their time serving this country. One veteran in particular joined the military through the Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service (WAVES) program. Ida Mae Schuster served in the United States Navy in the 1940s and went to boot camp in Bronx, New York. Upon graduating boot camp Ida reported to Stillwater, Oklahoma and onto San Diego, California where she met and married her late husband. Women at that time couldn't serve in the military if they were married so Ida had to end her military service.
"I was a yeoman third class back then and when you married you couldn't stay in. My husband served for over 30 years," said Schuster.
Stories like Schuster's captivated the Sailors from NSSA. After the award ceremony ended NSSA's Command Master Chief Michael Welsh thanked everyone for allowing NSSA to be a part of such a great event. The Sailors greeted each veteran, answered questions, and shared war stories.
For many NSSA Sailors these volunteer opportunities are a tradition.
"Having a grandfather that was a World War two II veteran and an uncle who also served in the Army, this is a tradition of mine to come here and spend time with these veterans and share stories," said NSSA Machinist's Mate 1st Class (SW/AW) Juan Finch Jr. It gives me a greater perspective on our history and also gives me the opportunity to pass these stories to our junior Sailors back at NSSA."
For more news from Norfolk Ship Support Activity, visit www.navy.mil/local/nssa/.