Sailors from Navy Operational Support Center (NOSC) Milwaukee arrived early in the morning of Aug. 8 at St. James Episcopal Church to help other local volunteers serve breakfast to the homeless and hungry.
The visit coincided with Milwaukee Navy Week, one of 15 signature events planned across America in 2012.
After helping in the preparation of food, the Sailors went on to serve approximately 250 appreciative individuals with a hot breakfast. Senior Chief Hospital Corpsman Ken Lacey described the event ” a great opportunity to serve the community.”
“Milwaukee has opened their hearts to us this week and it feels good to give back,” Lacey added.
Yeoman 1st Class James Howser, assigned to NOSC Springfield, Missouri also shares his thoughts about the experience. He said “Our presence today allows the public to see the Navy in a different light and gives us the opportunity to see all the people we’re protecting.”
St. James Episcopal Church has been hosting the interfaith meal ministry known as the Gathering for the past five years. The meal program at the church serves approximately 9,000 people a month. They serve breakfast Monday through Friday and lunch every Saturday.
“I think it’s just outstanding that the Navy came here to help,” said Robert Heindl, one of the volunteer coordinators at the church. “We have a large number of vets who come here and proudly wear their ship hats. You’re going to hear a lot of them saying thank you today.”
The week-long event commemorates the Bicentennial of the War of 1812, hosting service members from the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and Royal Canadian Navy.