Building Bridges

The local Seabee Veterans help out.

On Wednesday, November 9th, local representatives of the Navy Seabee Veterans of America (NSVA), Island X-5, Cape Fear chapter stepped in to help repair the bridge to the labyrinth. The original top beams were significantly weathered and it was time to get them replaced. Who better than the retired professional carpenters from one of the world’s most renowned organizations, the United States Navy.

Kevin Penner, Kobe Kelley, Doug Elznic, Roger Lance, Lou Babineau, and Dan Sees ready to get to work.

Property Committee member Doug Elznic was joined by his fellow Seabee veterans Roger Lance, Kobe Kelley, and Lou Babineau. After a few brief moments to reminisce about their favored service locations (for Roger, Đông Hà, Vietnam, Hawaii for Kobe, and Lou just loved being stationed in Maine), before the team set to work, quickly replacing the beams alongside another member of the Property Committee, Dan Sees.

With repairs in place, Doug Elznic and Roger Lance remove the rotted wood from the bridge structure as Kevin Penner looks on.

After the project was completed, Doug and Dan were pleased to show the visiting Seabee vets around the property; in particular the expanded area for the Giving Garden. They were impressed by our gardeners’ efforts, which resulted in more than 1,300 pounds of produce being donated to the Southport Oak Island Interfaith (SOIIF) Food Pantry over the summer. The idea of helping us build a fence around our newly added blueberry bushes put some thoughtful smiles on their faces.

Of course we’ve got lots of plans for improvements at Saint Peter, and a relationship with our honored veterans is highly valued even if it’s just to get their thoughts on our projects.

Know a local Seabee who is navigating retirement alone? Get in touch with Doug Elznic. He’d love to point them toward the next Cape Fear chapter get-together.


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