USS Theodore Roosevelt. Photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Alex Millar/US Navy
USS Theodore Roosevelt. Photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Alex Millar/US Navy

USS Theodore Roosevelt (USS TR) Day was declared in the City of San Diego Friday in honor of the crew of the NAS North Island-based, Nimitz-class aircraft carrier who completed more than 30,000 hours of community service.

The City of San Diego valued Roosevelt’s volunteer efforts at about $1 million in saved labor and equipment costs, which amounted to more than 214 full-time work weeks, according to the Navy. The Roosevelt crew contributed and volunteered for the City of San Diego, Park and Recreation Department and non-profit organizations.

“On behalf of the City of San Diego, we would like to offer our sincerest thanks to the crew of the USS Theodore Roosevelt for the outstanding service they provided to the communities through their volunteer efforts,” Herman Parker, Director of the San Diego Park and Recreation Department said.

“The crew was able to complete thousands of hours of needed projects, and it is gratifying to know our military not only serves our country with distinction and honor but our community as well,” said Parker.

Contributions from about 2,500 sailors included community engagement, promoting health and nutrition, landscape beautification, parks safety, veteran outreach, and youth mentoring and empowerment.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Jennifer Lewis participated in several community relations events in 2016 and said she appreciated the opportunity to work alongside her shipmates to help the community.

“I think it helps build morale and we need that with all the upcoming time at sea,” Lewis said. “It makes me proud to be a part of the Theodore Roosevelt because there are so many opportunities to volunteer and help different communities.”

Theodore Roosevelt’s Command Religious Ministries Department organized the community relations events for the Sailors.

“This is great for us to come and work to help beautify the communities that we live in,” Lt. Cmdr. Reinel Castro, a chaplain aboard Theodore Roosevelt, said. “Our children go to school in these communities, our spouses have jobs in these communities, so this is another way to be a part of the

Roosevelt’s commanding officer, Capt. Craig Clapperton, allowed sailors to volunteer at community relations events in place of work days.

“I’m extremely proud of the contributions our sailors have made in our new home port of San Diego,” Clapperton said. “During our first year in San Diego, while our maintenance availability was ongoing, it was important to provide an opportunity for our sailors to come together as a crew, as a family, and to positively impact our new community.”

— City News Service