SIU crew donates to U.S. Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society

July 2010

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Earlier this year, SIU members and officers aboard the U.S. Military Sealift Command (MSC) prepositioning vessel USNS 1st LT Harry L. Martin contributed $3,000 to the U.S. Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society.

The money came from an award by SIU-contracted Keystone, the vessel operator, for three years of environmentally safe operations by the Martin. A presentation took place April 14 at Blount Island Command in Jacksonville, Fla.

According to the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society web site, the non-profit organization’s mission is “to provide, in partnership with the Navy and Marine Corps, financial, educational, and other assistance to members of the Naval Services of the United States, eligible family members, and survivors when in need; and to receive and manage funds to administer these programs.”

Chief Storekeeper Eurico Liboon recalled, “We had a crew meeting on board the ship and discussed a lot of different suggestions on what to do with the money. We decided that donating for our wounded troops who risked their lives in protecting us would be a great cause and a thank-you to them from us.”

Keystone commended the crew members and officers for their heartfelt gesture. In a recent communication, the company wrote, “We salute Captain Mike Donovan and the entire crew of the Harry L. Martin for their generously donating the total proceeds of their three-year environmental incentive monies to the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Fund during their recent visit to Blount Island Command. To Capt. Donovan and his crew, Bravo Zulu!”

Col. Steven R. Peters, commanding officer of Blount Island Command, said in a letter to Rear Adm. Mark Buzby, commander of MSC, “Sir, I wanted to pass on my sincere thank you to you and Capt. Michael Donovan and the crew of the USNS Harry L. Martin for their very generous gift to the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society (Combat Casualty Assistance) while in port here…. As I understand it, the funds donated were generated from the crews’ excellent hazmat and waste disposal performance (pollution-free operations) sustained over the last three years. Their stellar performance is only bested by their generosity to this most worthy cause.”

Donovan told the MSC newspaper Sealift that the crew’s selection for this donation reflects their camaraderie with our armed forces.

“Our mission is to support Marine Corps logistics when needed,” he told the paper. “In this mission, we have met and interacted with a number of Marines and have come away with a deep appreciation for the work the Corps does…. With the ongoing war in Afghanistan and Iraq, we felt this program could make the best use of the money. Everyone felt it was a worthy cause to donate to. It’s always a good feeling to be able to donate, whether it’s time or money, to people who could really use the help.

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SIU crew donates to U.S. Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society

This photo was taken aboard the ship as the check was presented. Among those pictured are AB John Shank, AB Gustavo Arzu, AB Wallace William, Chief Storekeeper Eurico Liboon, OS George Galanis, Chief Engineer Steve Granahan, Capt. Mike Donovan, Col. Steven Peters, Oiler Kerry Coleman, 1st Engineer Justin Litterine, QMED Drew Brown, Bosun Jose Jimenea, Chief Mate Mark Nowak, 3rd Mate Sam Leshner, Cadet Greg Otto and AB Brooke English.