USS Constitution Wins Gold Level 2011 PVSA


USS Constitution won the gold level 2011 President’s Volunteer Service Award (PVSA) for community service in Charlestown, Mass., June 22.

The PVSA is divided into three levels: bronze, silver and gold. Groups must volunteer a minimum of 1,000 hours of community service to qualify for the gold level.

Community service is a large part of what we do here on board USS Constitution, and our Sailors thoroughly enjoy it,” said Lt. Cmdr. Stephen Shirley, USS Constitution executive officer. “Most community service events are completely voluntary, which validates the caring and dedication our Sailors put forth each and every day. We are honored to be recognized with this award for helping those in our community that need that little extra assistance.”

Constitution Sailors qualified for the 2011 PVSA four months after winning the gold level 2010 PVSA, Feb. 22. The ship also won the 2009 PVSA for gold level.

It’s amazing how fast we qualified for this year’s award, only a few months after winning the 2010 one,” said Cryptologic Technician (Technical) 2nd Class Jacob Wallace, Constitution’s volunteer program coordinator. “But we’re constantly moving around the country at Navy Weeks, moving around Boston, helping out where we can. Some people might be surprised how easy it is to find organizations in need of assistance. That’s what I do; seek them out and it’s more rewarding personally than anything else.”

Established in 2003, the PVSA is available on an annual basis to individuals, groups and families who have met or exceeded requirements for volunteer service and have demonstrated exemplary citizenship through volunteering.

The PVSA is issued by the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation on behalf of the president of the United States to recognize the best in the American spirit, and to encourage all Americans to improve their communities through volunteer service and civic participation.

“I just like helping people,” said Aviation Electrician’s Mate Airman Matthew DeAngelo, who has volunteered the most hours in 2011. “There’s something to helping someone and the feeling you get from it. It doesn’t matter how tired I am or even if I don’t feel well. When I’m helping out and I see the impact it has, it makes me forget whatever problem I’m having.”

Constitution also won the Commander, Navy Region (COMNAVREG) Middle Atlantic (MIDLANT) Good Neighbor Flagship award for small shore commands in 2010. COMNAVREG MIDLANT gives the award to commands that have the best year-round community service program or special project that encourages activities to provide humanitarian assistance to the less fortunate.

The ship is located in the Charlestown Navy Yard of Boston Harbor. She is the world’s oldest commissioned warship afloat and welcomes more than 500,000 visitors a year.
Source: navy, June  24, 2011