Face of Defense: Sailors Serve Meals at Homeless Shelter
By Navy Seaman Shannon S. Heavin
USS Constitution Public Affairs
BALTIMORE, Sept. 2, 2010 Navy sailors assigned to the Boston-berthed USS Constitution, have been prepared prepared and served hot food to people at a local homeless shelter here Aug. 30 as part of Navy Week activities.
Sailors assigned to Boston-berthed USS Constitution demonstrate boarding pike drills in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor on Aug. 28, 2010, as part of Navy Week. Some of the Constitution’s crew also prepared and served hot meals to people at a Baltimore homeless shelter on Aug. 30, 2010. U.S. Navy photo by Seaman Shannon S. Heavin
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Melissa Santiago and Petty Officer 2nd Class Stuart Macgillivray – who serve aboard the USS Constitution, known as “Old Ironsides,” were among sailors at the event held at the “Our Daily Soup Kitchen” shelter, as part of Baltimore Navy Week activities that began Aug. 28 and run through Sept. 6. The USS Constellation, the USS Constitution's sister ship, is permanently berthed here.
"I am glad to have had this opportunity," Macgillivray said. "This shows that military branches are not just here to defend the country, big-picture-wise, but we are here to help in any way we can.”
The sailors served about 300 guests at the shelter, of which 15 to 20 percent were homeless.
"It has been great and unusual to have military personnel here," said Aaron Kennedy, a volunteer coordinator. "Not many guests here have an idea about what the Navy is. This brought a new level of understanding to them in a supportive setting."
Since 2007, Our Daily Soup Kitchen has served an average of 700 meals -- seven days a week and 365 days a year -- to men, women and children of all ages. Our Daily Soup Kitchen not only feeds those who are hungry but also provides shelter and recovery programs leading to employment.
This is the fourth Navy Week that Constitution sailors have participated in this year. They performed similar outreach activities during Des Moines Navy Week, April 19 to 24; Spokane Navy Week, May 10 to 15; and Boston Navy Week, June 30 to July 5.
"Constitution sailors are active in community service programs, not only when we are participating in Navy Weeks but year-round in Boston," said Navy Cmdr. Timothy Cooper, the 71st commander of the Constitution. "I think community outreach programs provide our sailors with opportunities to make an immediate positive impact on the lives of people who have fallen into difficulties."
Baltimore Navy Week is one of 20 Navy Weeks planned across America in 2010. Navy Weeks are designed to show Americans the investment they have made in their Navy and to increase awareness in cities that do not have a significant Navy presence.
Constitution is located in the Charlestown Navy Yard in Boston. She is the world's oldest commissioned warship afloat and welcomes more than 500,000 visitors a year.