Commander, Submarine Group Two

PCU Mississippi Sailors Amass 782 Volunteer Hours, Equal to their Hull Number 
GROTON, Conn. – The Pre-Commissioned (PCU) USS Mississippi (SSN 782) has amassed 782 volunteer hours, equal to their hull number, as of June 24, by volunteering throughout the New England area while their boat is under construction at Electric Boat.
Volunteer coordinator Machinist’s Mate 1st Class (SS/SW) James Pearson has led the boat’s community service since October 2010.
“When I transferred to PCU Mississippi a couple of other Sailors stationed aboard collaborated on a community service program,” explained Pearson. “After discussing it further with our Chief of the Boat, the plan was approved, essentially allowing our vision to take shape.”
Pearson said that part of his plan for their command’s community service was to inform the local community about the U.S. Navy, and in particular, PCU Mississippi.
“We wanted our volunteer program to emphasize our interest in Connecticut and our desire to offer our assistance wherever necessary,” said Pearson.
Since October the Sailors aboard PCU Mississippi have assisted with countless projects from cooking for the SubVets in the local area to educating students about the military at John B. Stanton Elementary School to packing boxes for deployed Connecticut service members.  
According to Pearson, the command’s community service in the New London area has impacted more than 10,000 people and has had a positive impact on their outlook involving the local military community.
One of their recent volunteer projects was conducted on June 24. PCU Mississippi Sailors and Electric Boat employees who packed more than 400 care packages in their off time for deployed Connecticut Sailors.
“I would personally like to thank you and your shipmates for proactively joining a partnership with us in our care package efforts for troops deployed abroad,” said Don Miller, US / UK Fleet Support and Modernization for Electric Boat. “The assistance the members of PCU Mississippi in helping to set up and serve lunch during our last three events were invaluable and very much appreciated.”
One of the PCU Mississippi Sailors, who served as an Individual Augmentee (IA) several years ago knew of their generosity firsthand and received care packages while on deployment.
“When I was deployed, I was truly grateful to receive care packages from Electric Boat,” said Electrician’s Mate 1st Class (SS) Randy Hall.
Since returning from his IA deployment, Hall has come full circle and shared his experiences during deployment and the impact of receiving the care packages. His experiences have become a catalyst with the Electric Boat employees and Sailors aboard PCU Mississippi to continue supporting deployed service members from Connecticut.
“He volunteers more than I do and really emphasizes to the command what an impact this program has on troops stationed overseas,” said Pearson.
To date, PCU Mississippi Sailors have assisted in 36 projects throughout the New England area. One of the projects that Pearson is compassionate about his command’s volunteer effort and has laid down a challenge for all future boats at Electric Boat to continue volunteering in many of these projects, particularly helping out deployed service members. 
“We want all of the branches of the military service to know what they do for our country matters,” said Pearson. “Their service is respected and appreciated, and our effort here in Connecticut to show them is just a small token of our appreciation.”