By Michael Vernon Voss
Naval Weapons Station Yorktown
The Navy-Marine Emergency Services Office has reopened on Naval Weapons Station Yorktown after closing its doors more than three years ago.
Although scheduled for a grand opening ceremony in September, Yorktown service members now have access to assistance with time-sensitive issues that don’t allow travel to the regional Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society office in Norfolk.
Located inside the Naval Weapons Station Yorktown Fleet and Family Service Center, some of the services available through the WPNSTA Yorktown ESO include quick-assistance loans, help applying for emergency leave and travel, and disaster relief assistance for assigned service members and families.
“The reopening of the Yorktown ESO ensures our Sailors and Marines have access to the help they need during emergency situations,” said Capt. Paul C. Haebler, Commanding Officer, Naval Weapons Station Yorktown. “Being able to provide these services to our service members in their time of need was the goal behind reopening the office. The last thing a Sailor and their family need to worry about during an emergency is what time does the office I need open. The ESO provides the emergency assistance needed 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”
The staff of the newly opened ESO consist volunteers who were trained by Navy Marine Corps Relief Society ESO caseworkers. According to their website, the NMCRS, consisting of 3,500 volunteers around the world, is a non-profit, charitable organization that provides financial assistance and education to active duty and retired members of the United States Navy and Marine Corps, their eligible family members and survivors-when in need.
“The WPNSTA Yorktown ESO volunteers will be assisted with reach-back capability to the Peninsula NMCRS office in instances where the support the service member or family needs cannot be accomplished at the installation level,” said Kathy Nelson, director of the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society Norfolk. “The ESOs are not a full-service office typical of larger bases, but much of the assistance provided from the Yorktown office will be typical of that provided at any of these typical offices.
Some of that support includes quick loans to service members to cover various expenses from car repair and rent to grocery and utility bills.
“This office has been needed and is great for our Sailors,” said Naval Weapons Station Yorktown Command Master Chief Lee Friedlander. “Each of us has experienced a moment in our lives when we needed help. Now if a Yorktown Sailor or Marine finds themselves or their family in a situation that they need emergency assistance after hours they can call the Command Duty Officer, who will in turn notify the volunteer ESO representative and that person will be there to help the service member get the help they need."