Commander, Submarine Group Two

USS San Juan (SSN 751) Sailors and volunteers with AMVETS Post 1
stand in front of the Maine Veterans' home in Scarborough. The group
donated 150 pairs of sweatshirts and sweatpants to veterans, Nov. 27.

USS San Juan Sailors Provide 'Sweats 4 Vets'

SCARBOROUGH, Maine (NNS) -- Sailors from USS San Juan (SSN 751) participated in "Sweats 4 Vets" event at the Maine Veterans' Home in Scarborough, Nov. 27.

Sailors coordinated the event with their sponsoring city of Biddeford, Maine and American Veterans (AMVETS) Post 1 and distributed more than 150 pairs of sweatshirts and sweatpants to veterans.

"The clothing was primarily provided by the AMVETS, and distributed by the USS San Juan Sailors," said San Juan Chief of the Boat, Master Chief Electronics Technician Gaylord Humphries. "This is the second year of the program, which AMVETS hopes will become an annual tradition to provide winter clothing for the veterans."

Humphries added that nine San Juan Sailors volunteered for the event after an invitation from the AMVETS.

There are additional opportunities for San Juan Sailors to volunteer in the community.

"Our next project will be for Toys for Tots, in which USS San Juan Sailors will assist with putting together 30 bicycles that are being donated by the Biddeford AMVETS post," said Humphries.

Earlier this month, 17 Sailors assigned to San Juan participated in the Biddeford-Saco Veterans Day Parade. Humphries highlighted the importance of his Sailors participating in their sponsoring community for the past two years while their submarine underwent maintenance.

"For the past two years we have been at the shipyard, we have volunteered for these types of events," said Humphries. "It's important to give back to the local communities who support the military."

Retired Master Chief Gene Foster, one of the AMVETS leaders and coordinator between the City of Biddeford and San Juan reflected on the value of teamwork.

"Biddeford and AMVETS has thoroughly enjoyed our relationship with the crew of USS San Juan," said Foster. "We'll definitely miss them when they leave, but the interaction between the community, the veterans and civilians alike, has been enriching for us all."

San Juan and its crew of 13 officers and 121 enlisted personnel arrived at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard April 8, 2010. While at the shipyard, the submarine underwent an engineered overhaul consisting of various maintenance work and several system upgrades.