Every Christmas there are sailors at the Naval Submarine Base New London who might not be able to go home for the holidays or are just starting their careers and might not be able to buy a holiday meal for their families. That’s where fellow sailors at the Naval Submarine Base New London are stepping in to help.
As part of SUBASE New London’s Caring & Sharing Program, sailors volunteered Tuesday to fill box after box with donated Christmas fixings.
“For us, by us,” said Naval Submarine New London Command Master Chief Raj Sodhi. “What it does is allow junior sailors who may not be going home for the holidays the opportunity to make a home-cooked meal.”
Sodhi said any sailor who needs a box of Christmas ingredients is welcome to sign up.
Sonar Technician Second Class Robert Jordan said he’s had plenty of friends and their families benefit from this.
“It makes me feel great. That’s what we’re supposed to be here for. We’re all here for each other and we got to back each other up,” Jordan said.
Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, these volunteers have packed more than 300 boxes. All food was donated in front of the SUBASE commissary during an approximately eight-week food drive sponsored by the Naval Submarine School Activities Association.
It’s the first year Navy Diver First Class Ryan Murphy took over coordinating the project.
“People want to volunteer, people want to do the right thing, help out their fellow sailors, help out their community,” Murphy said.
For him the experience has been a rewarding one.
“Having a hardship during the holiday, weren’t able to come home with their family, or weren’t able to provide a meal for their family because of whatever financial hardships—helping out maybe just one sailor or 150 sailors, whatever it may be, it’s a very rewarding feeling,” Murphy said.
All of the boxes and ham will be distributed to sailors and their families Wednesday. What’s not used will go to the Homeless Hospitality Center in New London, according to Murphy.