USA: Virginia-Class Attack Submarine Sailors Leave Joplin


Eight USS Missouri (SSN 780) Sailors who took voluntary leave to assist their namesake state are returning to Groton, Conn., June 8.

To officially thank them for their service, Kansas City Mayor Sly James and several city council members met the Sailors at the Kansas City International Airport to thank them for their efforts to assist the residents of Joplin.

“I was honored that USS Missouri Sailors participated in clean-up efforts in Joplin to help out our namesake state,” said Chief Yeoman (SS) Mike Shea, who led the group of eight. “Each Sailor elected to take voluntary leave for one week to offer assistance where needed in Joplin.”

The Sailors arrived in Joplin on June 1 and assisted AmeriCorps, the American Red Cross, and the Missouri State Emergency Management Agency, by organizing volunteer efforts related to removing debris and assisting homeowners gather their belongings.

During their one-week volunteer effort, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon met with the Sailors earlier this week.

“I’m very proud of our Sailors’ volunteer efforts to help the state of Missouri. These efforts demonstrate the strong relationship between our crew and the state and we were honored to have been able to contribute to the state’s recovery efforts,” said Cmdr. Timothy Rexrode, USS Missouri commanding officer.

Sailors participating in this relief effort include Lt. j.g. Joe Innerst; Lt. j.g. Ryan Sullivan; Chief Yeoman (SS) Mike Shea; Chief Machinist’s Mate (SS) C.J. Kohlhofer; Chief Culinary Specialist (SS) Andy Scott; Electronics Technician 1st Class (SS) Jason Fenley; Machinist’s Mate 2nd Class (SS/DV) Travis Fitzgerald, and Machinist’s Mate 2nd Class (SS) Pat Patterson.

The Sailors collectively amassed 504 hours of volunteer service by clearing several acres of trees, cars and other debris, as well as organizing the volunteer efforts of more than 200 on a daily basis.

The Missouri crew consists of about 134 officers and enlisted personnel. Missouri is the fifth Navy ship to be named in honor of the people of the “Show Me State.”

Source: navy, June 9, 2011;