Midshipmen Volunteer in the Rockaways

Discussion in 'Merchant Marine Academy - USMMA' started by tankercaptain, Nov 15, 2012.

  1. tankercaptain

    tankercaptain Member

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    Strong Display of "Acta non Verba" - Deeds not Words - in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy


    Photographer - MIDN Michael Pluhowski, 1/c
    CAPT David Taliaferro, '07, Army National Guard briefing midshipmen volunteers
    On Monday, November 11, midshipmen at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy organized a service project to help neighboring communities hit hard by Hurricane Sandy and the following nor'easter. In total, 272 midshipmen dedicated their day off to serving the victims on the Rockaway Peninsula.

    They left Kings Point early Monday morning in a convoy of eight school buses financed completely by the Class of 2013. After a briefing by alumnus CAPT David Taliaferro,'07, New York Army National Guard, at Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn, they were escorted by members of the U.S. Air Force and N.Y. Police Department and deployed to large areas of the effected peninsula.

    Upon arrival, bus commanders dispatched midshipmen to several locations where they worked side-by-side with several relief groups, including the Rockaway Graybeards, Habitat for Humanity, The Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians, Team Rubicon, and Navillus Contracting, a company that has donated a warming station, soup kitchen and distribution center at St. Francis de Sales Church. One group went to Breezy Point and Roxbury, one stayed at St. Francis de Sales, Belle Harbor and one went to Rockaway Beach. The midshipmen cleaned homes, including those of USMMA and SUNY Maritime Alumni, removed sand from streets, and provided needed logistical support by taking inventory and sorting and distributing food donations. They organized donated clothing and other personal items scattered by storm and erected a huge tent to protect these items from future bad weather, and they delivered hot food to homebound elderly along with hug and a smile.

    Plebe Weston Iannone said, "I went to Breezy Point and helped out a neighborhood where entire groups of houses were burned to the ground or even swept out to sea. Words cannot describe the level of devastation; the photos do not do it justice."

    Many midshipmen have already asked when they can return, saying that all their hard work was just the beginning. Midshipman Bryan Diffley said, "it all became worth it when a homeowner came out and broke down in tears of praise and appreciation for the work we had completed."

    "I could not be prouder of our midshipmen - their service brings life to our motto, 'Deeds not Words,'" said Rear Admiral James Helis, Ph.D., superintendent of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.

    The USMMA docks used by the U.S. Coast Guard Station also played an important role during the recovery efforts. It was the only operational U.S. Coast Guard Station in the New York sector after Hurricane Sandy. It allowed the waterfront staff and midshipmen the ability to use USMMA vessels in support of FEMA during mooring operations and personnel transport within New York City. Working hand-in-hand with the Maritime Administration to survey New York Harbor dock conditions and provide assistance, USMMA waterfront staff and midshipmen helped with cleanup and vessel preparation, ensuring that multiple vessels were quickly ready for emergency response.

    Photos of Midshipmen helping with the relief effort following Hurricane Sandy. https://picasaweb.google.com/USMMAphotography
     
  2. tankercaptain

    tankercaptain Member

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  3. aooga15

    aooga15 Parent

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    awesome!

    :thumb:
     
  4. kdbax

    kdbax Member

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    According to DS, a group is going back today.
     

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