Shipyard Sailor serves the nation, one community at a time

Liane Nakahara

Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard Public Affairs

For Electronics Technician 1st Class John Garcia, his work is not complete until he has given back to the community and encouraged others to do so as well. The driving force behind several organizations at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard, Garcia does his best to balance being a husband and father with being a Sailor and an active volunteer.

Garcia currently serves as the shipyard’s volunteers coordinator, schools partnership program officer, Military Morale Welfare and Recreation president, and Armed Services Blood Program (ASBP) coordinator, and the First Class Petty Officers Association president. He also volunteers as a driver with the Sailors Against Drunk Driving Program. On top of it all, he still has enough energy to play soccer on the shipyard’s intramural team.

“He is as hardworking as he is giving,” said Capt. Larry Hill, deputy shipyard commander. “He puts the same amount of effort into community service as he does his job and his family.”

At work at the shipyard, Garcia was assigned to the USS Chicago (SSN 721) engineered overhaul as the ship’s safety officer. He was responsible for all safety issues concerning the ship’s crew during the long maintenance availability.

“As an integral part of the project team, his dedication helped the shipyard successfully undock Chicago six weeks earlier than originally scheduled,” Hill said.

Despite the often long hours that come with that responsibility, Garcia still makes the time to give back to the community. He said that he owes a lot to his wife and children, who are truly supportive of his community service efforts and understand the sacrifices he makes to his personal time.

“If there is a military fund-raiser or volunteer cleanup, blood drive or project going on at one of the shipyard’s partnered schools, you had better believe that Petty Officer Garcia is there sweating alongside every volunteer from this command,” Hill said.

Since being stationed at the shipyard in August 2008, Garcia has coordinated or participated in dozens of community service projects, ranging from events for shipyard military personnel to school and environmental beautification projects to March of Dimes and Easter Seals fund-raising events.

“Garcia has been a key reason why the shipyard’s community outreach is so wide and has helped us to win community service awards from the Commander, Navy Region Hawaii and Chief of Naval Operations,” Hill noted. “He certainly is one of the most outstanding first class petty officers I have ever had the pleasure of serving with,” he added.

As the schools partnership program officer, Garcia oversees all of the command’s volunteer activities with the shipyard’s three partnered schools – Manana Elementary School, Aliamanu Middle School and James Campbell High School. He also participates as a mentor and volunteer coordinator for the Hawaii National Guard Youth Challenge Academy, school robotics teams and Pearl Harbor Kai Read Along program.

Garcia has been able to revive Armed Services Blood Program (ASBP) participation and the Shipyard Captain’s Cup military intramural sports tournament, along with increasing fund-raising events to support all of the command’s community service activities.

“My happiest moment will be when I don’t have to coordinate community service projects for anyone because they are all too busy doing it on their own,” Garcia said. “It may be an impossible goal, but life and the Navy have taught me to keep working until the impossible has been achieved. Then I’ll move on to the next impossible goal.”

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Category: News