Governor of Missouri Thanks USS Missouri Sailors for Their Volunteer Efforts
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon met with the eight USS Missouri (SSN 780) Sailors who are assisting with clean-up efforts in Joplin, June 3.
The Missouri Sailors are assisting 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.
“[The governor] wanted to make sure that we understood how much the State of Missouri appreciates our presence in Joplin and proud he was of us,” said Chief Yeoman Mike Shea, one of the eight Sailors who took voluntary leave to assist the citizens of Joplin.
Since arriving in Joplin on June 1 the Sailors have collectively amassed nearly 350 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.
During the governor’s visit, he expressed to the Sailors his appreciation from both his office, but for the citizens of Joplin, who have a sense of calm knowing that their struggle has not been forgotten.
Shea added that he and his crew have met with many Joplin citizens who have shared their personal stories of surviving the tornado that struck the city on May 22.
“Many of the people I have met describe the enormous sense of loss and disbelief that you can look miles down the road and see everything destroyed,” said Shea. “Everything has been wiped out. Nothing is left, no buildings, no trees, nothing.”
The eight Missouri Sailors are expected to return to Groton, Conn., on June 8.
Missouri is the fifth Navy ship to be named in honor of the people of the "Show Me State."