USS Spruance, Mobile Bay Sailors Volunteer at Mission During Seattle Fleet Week
Story by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Victoria Foley
SEATTLE Sailors assigned to Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG 53) and Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Spruance (DDG 111) volunteered at the Bread of Life Mission Wednesday and Thursday during the 70th annual Seattle Fleet Week, July 28 through August 2.
Since 1939, the Bread of Life Mission has provided shelter, food and Christian counseling to those who are homeless or in need. During the event, Sailors served lunch and dinner to about 663 people. On average, the Bread of Life Mission provides 121,000 meals, 40,100 nights of shelter and 6,700 items of clothing annually.
“For some of us, this is our first time in the city of Seattle,” said Damage Controlman 1st Class Shaun Clement. “This is just another way for us to give back to the community the best way we can.”
Zachary Rickert, database manager and volunteer coordinator at the Bread of Life Mission, appreciated the Navy’s support.
“It really shows the people out on the streets that the military still cares for them even though they’re already serving our country,” said Rickert. “With the Sailors help, we’re able to serve more meals for people than we could if we didn’t have extra volunteers.”
Robert Shepherd, a volunteer for the Bread of Life Mission, was thankful for the extra hands in the kitchen.
“Normally, we only have two to three people in the kitchen to help cook, set up and then tear down,” said Shepherd. “There’s about 100 to 140 people that come for lunch and about 45 to 100 people for dinner each day. That’s a lot of work for only a couple people.”
“I’m thankful for the Navy,” said Shepherd. “It’s nice to see Sailors out in the community and giving back. They already do so much for our country as it is.”
Seattle Fleet Week 2019 is a time-honored celebration of the sea services and provides an opportunity for the citizens of Washington to meet Sailors and Coast Guardsmen, as well as witness firsthand the latest capabilities of today’s maritime services.