Base Officials Re-open Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society Office
Friday, December 15th, 2017
Marines, civilian-Marines and Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society volunteers gather for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to re-open the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society office at Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, Dec. 13.
Cutting the red-ribbon were Col. James C. Carroll, III, commanding officer, Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, and Megan O'Connell, director, Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, Kings Bay and Albany, Georgia, among others.
Carroll recognized the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society’s contributions at MCLB Albany as well as throughout the Marine Corps.
“This is one of those organizations that has stood the test of time across the many, many decades of helping Marines and Sailors,” Carroll said. “(The Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society) stands ready to help Marines and Sailors on a moment’s notice. No matter where we are around the world, we can count on the resource of the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society.”
He also thanked the NMCRS volunteers for staffing the office.
“You come out three days a week dedicating your time, not getting paid, but you do this because you care,” Carroll stated. “You've taken the training and have done all those things to show our Marines and Sailors you stand ready to support them, so thank you.”
O'Connell, who will oversee the Albany office from Kings Bay, Georgia, explained how the NMCRS began to the crowd that gathered for the ceremony.
“We were founded in 1904 and before then, if we lost a Marine or a shipmate at sea, his shipmates or brothers-in-arms would pass the hat for his widow and orphans,” O’Connell said. “In 1904, the president then said let's make this official and make a society formed of volunteers that can help in those situations.
“So he took the Army-Navy (football) game proceeds and split them three ways,” she pointed out. “He gave a third (of the proceeds) to the Army, a third to the Navy and a third to Penn State who hosted the game. We got $9,000 and started with a small group of volunteers and we have been doing it ever since.”
O'Connell then shared the history of NMCRS aboard the installation highlighting the accomplishments during each decade.
“I feel like the volunteers from then, by doing what they did and putting everything down on paper, really preserved our shared history together,” she noted. “At the peak, there were 60 volunteers and they met weekly. Many of them were knitters and knitted blankets so every new mom got a new baby blanket.”
O'Connell also thanked the volunteers for stepping up and gave them a challenge.
“I challenge you, as we look to the future, to dream big,” she stressed. “Let's dream big for this Albany office.
“Let's have a history that when they look at us in 50 years they say, wow,” she said. “It probably won't be a scrap book, but more like a Facebook page; look at what they did in Albany, Georgia in 2018. Look at what they achieved.”