Seabees give thanks to community

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Saturday wrapped up a week of events celebrating the Navy. It started with the Blue Angels flying high, continued with the Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus rolling through Gulfport in the Patriots Parade and ended with the Gulfport Seabee's opening their gates to the community.

"It shows our support, our respect to the community," said Seabee Charles Hurst.

After a week of patriotism, the Seabees took time to say, "Thanks for the support."

"Today is our opportunity to open our gates to the public and to show our appreciation for the great support we get from our public. We've got a great relationship with our local community and this is our way to show our appreciation," explained Capt. Lou Cariello who is the Naval Construction Battalion Commanding Officer.

"It's awesome. It's just really reassuring in the community the turn out like this. The Seabees have a lot of community pride in their unique mission. It's great to give them a chance to see that and show the community and support it," said Hurst.

Visitors could see firsthand what the Seabees do every day by climbing aboard the heavy machinery used in their over-sea construction, stepping inside their temporary shelters and even feeling the power of artillery.

"Our local community is very proud of the Seabees and what we're doing across the globe," said Cariello.

"I think it's great. The more we can get the community involved and see what we do, it gives them an idea of what we're doing and what we do every day to support them," said Hurst.

For these men and women in uniform, Seabee Day is as much about the community they support, as it is about the job they do all over the world.

"As Seabees, as military members, we're very proud to be associated with this local community. There's a lot of patriotism in the local community and we really enjoy being a part of it," said Cariello.

Base officials are hoping to make Navy Week and Seabee Day an annual event.

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