VQ-3 Sailors help Oklahoma community

  • Published
  • By Petty Officer 2nd Class Monica Walker
  • Strategic Communications Wing ONE

Fleet Air Reconnaissance (VQ) 3 Sailors volunteered to help feed hungry children in the community at the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma Volunteer Center Jan. 14, as part of a monthly VQ-3 Power Plant Work Center initiative.

Sailors joined the assembly line at the local food bank, contributing their time to pack lunches for children with food insecurity, to get involved with the community, and to improve morale among the work center.

"It's a team building sort of thing. Volunteering isn't just community service, it's actually fun and enjoyable," said Aviation Machinist’s Mate Petty Officer 2nd Class Chance Clearwater.

The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma offers numerous volunteer opportunities. Sixteen VQ-3 Sailors participated in the Backpack Program, where they worked for two and a half hours assembling sacks full of non-perishable food for elementary school students to take home over the weekend and holidays.

“It feels Great to be a part of a good cause, and help the local community,” said Naval Aircrewman Petty Officer 1st Class William Christine. “We make these meals for one day and they hand them out to kids who don’t have anything for the weekend.”

Food insecurity impacts Oklahoma, with Oklahoma being the fifth hungriest state in the nation. Volunteers for the Backpack Program help push back on the numbers of hungry children by working as a team, a community, to inspect various non-perishable products and make them ready for children in need.

Because Oklahoma ranks as one of the states with the highest child food insecurity, the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma’s mission is to end childhood hunger in Oklahoma by providing chronically hungry children with the nutritious food they need today to help them thrive.

In line with the Navy core value of commitment, in caring for the personal and spiritual well-being of the community, volunteering at the food bank benefits not only the Oklahoma community, but Sailors’ families who are also impacted by food insecurity.

"By volunteering, I encourage my Sailors to see Honor as giving back to the community and people that are less fortunate and don’t have the advantages that we currently have,” said Aviation Machinist's Mate Chief Petty Officer Gabriel Martinez, Leading Chief Petty Officer of VQ-3’s Power Plant Work Center. “To have the courage to explore the ways they are making an impact on someone’s life by doing these volunteering events, no matter what the opportunity of the volunteer event. And for Commitment, once they do sign up for a volunteer event, they stay committed and follow through the whole process from signing up, and showing up and making that impact that eventually helps out someone in the end.”

Exhibiting excellent teamwork and efficiency during the event, Sailors worked on the assembly line loading bags with canned tuna, juice pouches and other non-perishables that would then be handed off to three other Sailors to weigh, seal, and pack each bag into a box.

In total, volunteers loaded 728 boxes amounting to 10,313 meals which will be sent to 4,368 children across 53 Oklahoma counties.

Fleet Air Reconnaissance (VQ) 3 is attached to Strategic Communications Wing (SCW) 1, a tenant command at Tinker Air Force Base, ensuring National Security through the deterrence of adversarial nuclear ambitions.

For more information, contact SCW-1 public affairs at https://www.facebook.com/CSCW1/