Sailors celebrate Navy by serving

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A Navy Veteran at the Safe Haven greets Read Adm. Keith Jones, as he toured the facility.

Crisp, white uniforms turned the heads of Veterans who used to wear them and children who someday hope to as the Navy came to Volunteers of America Wednesday.

As part of Navy Week, a week to raise awareness of the Navy in places like Shreveport where the service doesn’t have a large presence, sailors spent time volunteering and also learned more about challenges facing Veterans.

Rear Adm. Keith Jones, Reserve Director, Logistics Programs and Business Operations, visited Volunteers of America senior managers to hear about the needs of local Veterans. Then he toured two of the Veterans programs, where he warmly greeted Vets. A few eyes grew wide as they noticed the stars on his shoulder, but Jones just introduced himself as “Keith.”

“Volunteers of America plays a vital role in helping veterans transition out of the military and into more productive lives,” Jones said. “Their passion and leadership is impressive.”

SONY DSCSailors also spent time giving back to the community through our programs. A group spent the morning playing Bingo with seniors at the Adult Day Health Center.

“People think the military is just about offense, but the Navy does a lot of human service,” said Petty Officer Clay Titus, a recruiter from Houston.

Jones was particularly excited for the sailors to visit The LightHouse and share their experiences with the kids.

“I hope they see examples of people that look like them and have opportunities,” Jones said. “They can be part of a long line of American heroes, and serve their fellow men and women through the military.”

The children at Forest Hill Elementary were suitably impressed when they saw sailors dressed in 1812 period uniforms and learned all about the USS Constitution. The sailors are assigned to the ship and shared its history with the students, taught them how to tie knots, and allowed them to try on coats and hats.

“They were funny and helpful,” said 10-year-old Aliyah. “I learned how the Navy takes care of us.”

 

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