Seabee Compassion Provided to Local Veteran

The citizens of the Gulf Coast still feel the affects of Hurricane Katrina on a daily basis.  One Bay St. Louis man still suffers from the hurricane.  John Storms was driving his RV back to Mississippi, towing a trailer packed with all of his belongings that he grabbed before the storm hit, when he lost control of his vehicle.
       “I was driving back,” explained Storms, “when the brakes gave out.”  The vehicle and trailer fell over an 800-foot ledge leaving Storms wheelchair-bound.  “I had help from my church and teenage volunteers to build a ramp so I could get in and out of my home easier,” Storms said.  The drawback was that the ramp led directly to his front yard where the uneven terrain made getting back and forth to his driveway a daily challenge.  Bay St. Louis also floods easily because of its close proximity to a bayou, creating another hazard for Mr. Storms. 
     Then on Saturday, October 20th, two dozen volunteers from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) ELEVEN added to Mr. Storms’ ramp.  Spending a weekend morning, the Bees of ELEVEN placed, leveled and edged 17 yards of concrete, making a sidewalk that starts at the ramp, passes through Storms’ yard and connects to a freshly-placed driveway.  “All I feel is shock and awe, as corny as it sounds,” said Storms.  “This is a blessing, and I’m thankful the Seabees spent their day off to help me.”

Builder 2nd class
John Bachik

John Storm watches the work

       Storms, a Vietnam Air Force veteran, recognized the military teamwork of the Bees.  “A well-oiled machine is all I could think of when I saw them start,” he said.  The Seabees hopped off the bus and started working immediately, finishing the work within four hours.
       “I just want to thank each one of them,” said Storms.  “When I think about how they helped, it makes me swell up and I try not to get emotional.”
       The concrete pour is one of numerous projects NMCB ELEVEN is involved with.  The Battalion uses every opportunity they can find to help the community and train themselves for the upcoming deployment. 


Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Erick S. Holmes
NMCB 11 Public Affairs
October 22, 2007