IMPERIAL BEACH, Calif. – Nearly a dozen women from the amphibious transport dock USS Green Bay (LPD 20) observed National Women Build Week by working at a local Habitat for Humanity home construction site in Imperial Beach, California, May 7.
The volunteers worked to put up the frame on the first floor for one of six units in the Imperial Beach community where a Wounded Warrior is expected to eventually live.
“It is always rewarding being a part of Habitat, but it was great to get more people from Green Bay involved and work together as a team,” said Firecontrolman 1st Class Cesar Mancinas, a regular volunteer with Habitat for Humanity in San Diego and the organizer behind’s Green Bay’s support for Women Build Week.
The event kicked off with breakfast and a safety brief and then the Sailors got to work. Under the direction of Habitat for Humanity team leaders with many years of experience in construction, the Green Bay volunteers learned how to frame the house, reinforce it and build partition walls.
Ensign Jordan McCullough, the fire control officer on board Green Bay and a native of Kansas City, Missouri, said she had no fear when it came to learning new skills.
“It was an awesome experience and I was glad to donate my time helping out a fellow and veteran,” said McCullough. “I can’t wait to go back!”
In between all of the hammering and lifting, the women also had a chance to exchange sea stories and meet other women from other ships who were participating in the event.
“It was day mixed with building and bonding, but most importantly it was a chance to get to know other Sailors on the waterfront and help others,” said Lt. j.g. Helen Tannehill, a Dallas native and the assistant operations officer on board Green Bay. “I learned a lot about construction too!”
By the end of the day, the first floor was completely framed and partition walls were in place.
“When I walked onto the site in the morning and looked at the foundation, I would have never guessed we would have accomplished so much in one day,” said Ensign Brittany Isaac from Grand Chain, Illinois and the combat information center officer on board Green Bay. “It was very rewarding walking away at the end of the day and seeing the house start to literally take shape.”
For the seventh year, National Women Build Week challenges women to devote at least one day to help build affordable housing in their local communities as part of the Habitat for Humanity program. It is usually held the week leading up to Mother’s Day and is sponsored by Lowe’s Home Improvement.
In addition to supporting the local San Diego community, the crew of Green Bay is currently making preparations to become operationally ready for a scheduled homeport shift to Sasebo, Japan early next year. Green Bay will be the first San Antonio-class LPD to be forward deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet Area of Responsibility.