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Norwich native gives back to community during Navy Week

A Norwich native volunteered at a local food bank to give back to the community during Columbia Navy Week Oct. 18-24.

Petty Officer 1st Class Justin Fernandez is a 2010 Norwich Free Academy graduate. Today, Fernandez serves as an electronics technician aboard USS James E. Williams.

James E. Williams is the namesake of Chief Petty Officer James Elliott Williams, one of the Navy’s most highly decorated enlisted sailors. Through his 20 years of service, Williams earned 18 awards including the Medal of Honor and Purple Heart (with two gold stars). Williams was born in Fort Mill, South Carolina.

“It is a great honor to be selected to come down here,” said Fernandez. “It is my honor to be here to be the face of James E. Willams.”

The Harvest Hope Food Bank’s mission is to eliminate hunger and food insecurity for South Carolina residents. Thirteen sailors volunteered during this event which resulted in 434 boxes being packed with non-perishable food items such as pasta, green beans and crackers. The boxes will feed 434 families in need.

“Serving in the Navy is extremely difficult sometimes but it is also extremely rewarding,” said Fernandez. “ I know my family is proud of me and I can provide for them.”

Megan Brown is with the Navy Office of Community Outreach.



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