GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Military personnel spent their weekend reaching out into the community. A group of Seabees volunteered their time to help a construction project move forward.
The Naval Construction Battalion Center has gained a reputation for its projects abroad, but there's a lot of work that Seabees do closer to home.
"We don't focus just on things that are happening overseas. It's not just about conflict and stuff like that. It's about building up the community as well," said Chief Select Leigh-Anna Herring.
That was the case in Gulfport as Chief Selectees from the Seabee Base along with seasoned Chief Petty Officers got the elbow grease going.
"Working next to my brothers and actually pulling up carpet. Being a heavy equipment operator, I don't do a lot of the inside building. I never realized how hard they actually work. I'll have to give them a lot of credit for that now," said Herring.
Herring, along with Chief Select Jonathan Kessell and others from the base are working at the future home of the Mississippi Aviation Heritage Museum to help make repairs that funds aren't paying for.
"This is what Seabees are all about is helping the community. Building a strong relationship between the military and civilians around our bases," said Kessell.
These workdays sometimes also strengthen relationships within families. Such is the case with Chief Earnest Rouse and his daughters. He said this was a chance for his family to see what he might do on a deployment.
"We're out there on the ground a lot, so our families can't come out and experience that kind of work with us, so it's a good opportunity. Besides, they were watching cartoons and sleeping in anyway," joked Rouse.
The Seabees volunteer around 4500 hours of service in the community each year.