Missouri Sailors Take Voluntary Leave to Assist their Namesake State
GROTON, Conn. – Eight U.S. Navy Sailors assigned to Virginia-class attack submarine USS Missouri (SSN 780) departed their homeport in Groton for Joplin, Mo., June 1, to assist with recovery efforts following a tornado that tour through namesake state’s city last month.
The Sailors elected to take voluntary leave for one week to assist tornado victims and clean-up efforts in Joplin.
"The real story here is simply Americans helping Americans. I am so proud of our Sailors and I continue to find inspiration every day in the commitment of these young men to serve their Nation, making a difference in the lives of others," said Cmdr. Timothy Rexrode, the commanding officer of Missouri who leads a crew of about 134 officers and enlisted personnel. “The efforts of these Sailors are consistent with what we see in these type of events. Our Sailors are everyday people taking time away from work and spending their summer vacation budgets to help out where they can.”
The Sailors participating in this relief effort include: Lt. j.g. Joe Innerst, Lt. j.g. Ryan Sullivan, Chief Yeoman (SS) Mike Shea, Chief Machinist’s Mate (SS) C.J. Kohlhofer, Chief Culinary Specialist (SS) Andy Scott, Electronics Technician First Class (SS) Jason Fenley, Machinist’s Mate Second Class (SS/DV) Travis Fitzgerald, and Machinist’s Mate Second Class (SS) "Pat" Patterson.
The Missouri Sailors will be volunteering with Americorps, the American Red Cross, and the Missouri State Emergency Management Agency who are providing the Sailors opportunities to assist with the ongoing volunteer efforts.
"Our crew's affiliation with the state of Missouri and its people is quite strong and we prize that affinity in the tradition of our ship's motto, 'United We Stand,’" said Rexrode.
On May 22, in a sign of solidarity, Rexrode and his crew sent their prayers and condolences to the people of Missouri.
Missouri is the fifth Navy ship to be named in honor of the people of the "Show Me State."
- USN –