Jul 25, 2012
Naval Hospital Beaufort and Chief Petty Officers Support Community Festival
BEAUFORT, S.C. – On Thursday, July 19, Naval Hospital Beaufort and members from the Lowcountry Chief Petty Officers Association (CPOA) showed community spirit by assisting with the 57th annual Beaufort Water Festival.
“Staff at Naval Hospital Beaufort, including our Chiefs, have a strong history of helping out the Beaufort community by volunteering for many organizations and events, including the annual Water Festival,” said Capt. Joan Queen, commanding officer of Naval Hospital Beaufort. “Our Chief Petty Officers are truly an inspiration to their shipmates and embody deckplate leadership and the spirit of service.”
The festival, a ten day community celebration of the area’s waterways, relies on volunteers to help make the event a success. Lowcountry Supper Night is a popular festival event that relies heavily on community support to cook enough food to feed and serve 3,500 festival guests. In addition to providing volunteers to help serve dinner, the hospital also lent event organizers use of its galley for cooking up thousands of pounds of sausage, corn, and shrimp, the key ingredients in Lowcountry boil, a traditional South Carolina dish.
In the hours leading up to the event, organizers brought truckloads of ingredients to Naval Hospital Beaufort and, using industrial-sized steel pots, began cooking. Staff from the hospital volunteered to help transport the large coolers of food to and from the trucks in the loading dock. Once everything was cooked and the food arrived at the waterfront park where the festival was being held, members of the CPOA, which is comprised of both active and retired Chiefs, were on hand to unload and serve up the Lowcountry supper.
“The CPOA became involved with the festival over six years ago when the organization’s president asked Naval Hospital Beaufort’s Chiefs to help serve at Lowcountry Supper Night,” said Senior Chief Hospital Corpsman Troy Murphy, current president of the CPOA. “Throughout the years, the festival organizers have remained in contact with the CPOA and this has become a staple community service event for the Chiefs. This is just a great opportunity to give back to the community and thank the citizens of Beaufort for supporting the military.”
Another member of the CPOA, Jason Berry, retired Chief Hospital Corpsman and safety specialist at the naval hospital, not only helped out with Lowcountry Supper Night, but also served as one of the festival’s directors for the third consecutive year, volunteering his services as the public safety director throughout the event.
“My duties were to ensure that all the visitors that came to the Water Festival were safe and well while enjoying the many events,” said Berry. “I couldn’t have done that without the numerous volunteers that came from all the military bases in the local area who helped provide gate security and crowd control.”
According to Berry, an 11 year member of the association, being part of the CPOA forms an important link between young Chiefs and their more seasoned brethren. Participating in a community of Chiefs not only keeps traditions alive, but also inspires continued camaraderie among all Chiefs and keeps them active not only with the Chief community, but the local one as well.
Open since 1949, Naval Hospital Beaufort provides general medical, surgical, and emergency services to all active duty personnel, as well as retired military and family members residing in the Beaufort area, a total population of approximately 29,000 beneficiaries.