Community Service Champion: July - Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Community Service Champion: July

The Community Service Champion for July actually goes to a group called the Navy Seabees at Sheppard Air Force Base.

The Seabees have been around since World War II, making a difference overseas. Here in the U.S., Daniel Ofallon represents the branch at Sheppard AFB, and explains how they are giving a helping hand here at home and says they partner with local non profit organizations to help with anything they may need.

He says, recently, they have partnered with Christmas in Action and Habitat for Humanity. They also do Project Back to School, Adopt a Highway, and Special Olympics.

The Seabees are volunteers in the Navy that specialize in construction and humanitarian aid inside and outside the U.S. Outside the U.S. They've served in Afghanistan and in Iraq rehabbing schools. In Africa, building gyms and air strips.

When heavy rain hit Texoma in May, the group took action, helping citizens prepare for the rising water of the Wichita River by helping residents sand bag.

The Seabees got started by the U.S. Navy in 1942 with a need for people who could do construction in combat zones.

Ofallon says, "It came from a need of construction trades that could work in combat areas that could build infrastructures and that could return fire."

Back then, the Navy recruited people who worked in construction. Today, however, some do not have enough experience. Ofallon says they recruit students that are between the age of 18-25 years.  

He says a lot of them don't have the skill to go right into the force and the training  base at Sheppard provides some training  for about 90 days, then they'll learn on the job. The Seabees have a Facebook page you can go to to learn more about the projects they are involved in and upcoming projects.

Ken Johnson, Newschannel 6

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