PORTSMOUTH, Va. (April 4, 2022) – Navy Medical Center Portsmouth (NMCP) Chief Petty Officers Association (CPOA) members gathered at the Fisher House on Naval Support Activity Hampton Roads-Portsmouth Annex to volunteer their time to perform beautification activities around the building on March 31.
The chiefs, or goats – a nickname earned in the days of the wooden boats when enlisted seniors shared quarters with the ship’s goat – came together to help.
“We are transitioning from winter to spring and wanted to start the season off right by helping an organization that has done so much for our military and veterans,” said hospital senior chief Leonor Jean-Gilles, senior enlisted adviser at the NMCP. and one of the event organizers.
Fisher House Foundation, Inc. is an international non-profit organization created to improve the quality of life for service members, veterans and their families, according to the mission statement on their website. The foundation builds comfort homes at military and VA medical centers and donates them to the government.
“We have to lead by example,” said hospital chief Willie Mercado, NMCP’s chief cardiology petty officer. “We can talk to our sailors every day about the things it takes to be successful, but if we’re not here to show them what the law is like, we ultimately let them down.”
As part of the beautification efforts, the chiefs collected pine leaves and straw, trimmed hedges, picked up fallen branches, and picked up any litter found on the grounds.
“We all take great pride in taking the time to give back in any way we can. Some days it’s with our sailors,” Mercado said. “Today is with our community.”
As the oldest military hospital in the US Navy, operating continuously since 1830, Naval Medical Center Portsmouth proudly serves past and present service members and their families. The nationally recognized state-of-the-art medical center, along with the area’s 10 health branches and TRICARE Prime clinics, provide care to the Hampton Roads area. The medical center also supports world-class research and education programs designed to prepare new physicians, nurses, and hospital staff for future roles in healing and wellness.