By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW) Ronda Lyn Spaulding, Naval Support Activity Mid-South Public Affairs
MILLINGTON, Tenn. (NNS) -- Commander, Navy Region Mid-West visited Naval Support Activity Mid-South to support the base's recovery efforts following floods that crippled the base May 1.
Rear Adm. Anthony Gaiani, CNRMW, offered words of encouragement to NSA Mid-South Commanding Officer Capt. Doug McGowen and Sailors staffing the base's Emergency Operations Center.
"Some of these stories are heartbreaking to listen to," Gaiani said. "There are folks who have some really serious problems and on top of that they've lost all their possessions. But the thing I take away from all that, when I talk to these families, is how grateful they are for the assistance they're getting."
NSA Mid-South, located in Shelby County, was struck by severe rainstorms and flooding May 1, causing the displacement of more than 300 families and significant structural damage to several buildings.
Gaiani praised NSA Mid-South Sailors' efforts, citing the impressive manner in which the community pulled together.
"The piece that was so impressive to me was speaking with families," he said. "They told me about the kindness and help that they've been given from people was overwhelming. The chiefs who've been out there and are helping clean out the houses, other Sailors and their families who are coming over to make sure they're getting enough to eat, that they're kids are being taken care of is absolutely overwhelming. It's what the Navy is really all about."
Gaiani said the Navy's working force – the military in uniform, the Government Service civilians and the contractors – have all been instrumental in recovery operations. He said he had heard of one contractor working for the NSA Mid-South Security Department and married to an active duty Sailor who was evacuated from his house during the inclement weather. Gaiani said the contractor immediately returned to the scene after ensuring his wife and child were safe, and later stood an additional 36 hours of duty.
"This contractor is showing the same kind of dedication to duty we would expect from Sailors," he said. "I saw this in the military, the civilians – everyone across the board. It's exactly what this business really means to all of us."
NSA Mid-South serves as the Navy's human resources center of excellence. The more than 40 tenant commands, including Navy Personnel Command and Navy Recruiting Command, manage a sailor's career from recruitment through retirement and support critical family readiness programs.
For more news from Commander Navy Installations Command, visit www.navy.mil/local/cnic.