SSC-Natick Press ReleaseU.S. Army Soldier Systems
Public Affairs Office
Contact: Public Affairs Office
Date: September 13, 2007
NSRDEC lends a helping hand
Seabees from the Naval Mobile
Construction Battalion 27 (NMCB 27), prepared meals for more
than 550 homeless Veterans utilizing a Mobile Kitchen Trailer on
loan from the Natick Soldier Research, Development and
Engineering Center during Massachusetts Stand Down Days in
Boston Aug. 10 and 11. (Courtesy photo) |
Click for Larger Photo
NATICK, Mass. -- Volunteers providing services, such as food,
clothing, health screenings, showers, haircuts, and Veterans and
Social Security benefits counseling, to homeless Veterans during
Massachusetts Stand Down Days in Boston Aug. 10 and 11 were assisted
by equipment on loan from the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research,
Development and Engineering Center (NSRDEC).
About four years ago, the Shelter Technology, Engineering and
Fabrication Directorate (STEFD) of the NSRDEC was the first to
STEFD was contacted by Marybeth O'Sullivan, a Navy Veteran and the
outreach advisor for the Veterans Upward Bound program at the
University of Massachusetts Boston, said Dan Feeley, equipment
specialist. Originally Doug Melvin, also an equipment specialist in
STEFD, was the point of contact (POC) and worked out an agreement
where they would supply the labor and we would provide the tents,
continued Feeley, who has since taken on the role as POC. There are
a number of Navy Seabees who are assigned to the event and they have
the experience to set up the equipment. "This year we loaned them
two tents," he said, "a GP medium and a GP large."
Three years ago, the STEFD also put O'Sullivan in touch with the
Combat Feeding Directorate (CFD) and they have been loaning
equipment as well.
This year we provided a MKT [Mobile Kitchen Trailer] along with all
the necessary accessories to prepare meals, said Louis Jamieson,
equipment specialist, CFD. "Previously they were using barrels or
home barbeque grills," he continued. "Not only was that not
efficient, but it wasn't safe either."
Several of the Seabees had previously been certified at Natick in
the safe use of the MKT and the MKT was used to provide three
complete meals to the Veterans over the two-day period.
O'Sullivan said, "We served over 550 homeless Veterans living within
the greater Boston area. Due to the availability of the MKT, the
meals that were provided for our Veterans were nutritious, and the
weekend's mission was completed with the greatest efficiency!
Breakfast, lunch and dinner were served on time and with no
Feeley said the annual arrangement works out well. They get the
equipment they need to run the event and we get to help out
Veterans, he said.
A note from O'Sullivan expresses her gratitude, "Many thanks for the
support you and your team at NSRDEC provided for Massachusetts Stand
Down. Once again, I thank you for supporting our efforts in
assisting Veterans who have fallen on difficult times. I look
forward to our continued relationship as we continue to fight our
current war on homelessness."
Anthony Celluci, engineering aid, CFD, said, "It was an honor for
the CFD team to assist in providing a positive service for our
homeless Veterans who have served this country proudly, and CFD will
continue to support this important cause."
According to the Department of Veterans Affairs' website, Stand
Downs are one part of the Department of Veterans Affairs' efforts to
provide services to homeless Veterans. They are typically one to
three day events providing services to homeless Veterans such as
food, shelter, clothing, health screenings, benefits counseling and
referrals to a variety of other necessary services, such as housing,
employment and substance abuse treatment. Stand Downs are
collaborative events, coordinated between local VAs, other
government agencies, and community agencies who serve the homeless.