HONOLULU (NNS) -- Sailors assigned to Navy Information Operations Command (NIOC) Hawaii gathered at the Veterans Affairs (VA) Center for Aging located on Tripler Army Medical Center Jan. 29 to deliver hand-made lap quilts to the VA Center residents.
Cryptologic Technician (Networks) 1st Class Justin Mullins proposed the idea of volunteering at the VA Center for Aging last year as a CPO 365 Community Relations (COMREL) Event. Mullins and Chief Cryptologic Technician (Networks) Mitchell Sheppard worked together to set up monthly Bingo games at the center.
"The veterans here love the days we come to host Bingo. Not just for the recreation aspect, but because we come in uniform and that means a lot to them," said Sheppard.
During one monthly Bingo event, Cryptologic Technician (Interpretive) 1st Class Amanda Phillips noticed the veterans were cold, and the hospital blankets would often get tangled in their wheelchairs.
"I knew several people who liked to sew, knit, and crochet in their off-duty time. So we began to gather interest in making lap quilts that would keep the veterans warm, without posing a safety hazard," said Phillips.
The quilt project drew the attention of other Sailors in the command and family members outside of Hawaii. Phillips and Chief Cryptologic Technician (Collection) Chief Emily Klinefelter took the lead and organized the production of the blankets.
Individuals who wanted to get involved but were unable to make a blanket, participated by donating fabric and other supplies. Phillips, Klinefelter, other NIOC Hawaii Sailors as well as their family members have made 68 quilts since March 2017.
NIOC Hawaii delivered blankets to the 39 current residents at the VA Center for Aging, leaving the rest leftover for future residents. NIOC Hawaii delivered 68 blankets in total, which took almost a year to make.
"We'd like to continue this project to make sure future patients and residents at the VA Center have a token of our appreciation for their service to our country," said Phillips.
Jennifer Hastings, Recreation Manager at the VA Center for Aging, expressed gratitude to NIOC Hawaii for their efforts. She said she hopes it will inspire other groups on Oahu to volunteer at the VA Center for Aging and at additional service projects needed to care for the veterans on the island.
NIOC Hawaii/Combined Task Force 1070 provides a wide range of information warfare support to the U.S. Fleet Cyber Command/U.S. 10th Fleet (FCC/C10F) and the National Security Agency, to include tailored signals intelligence and cyber operations. NIOC HI/CTF 1070 is headquartered on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam and has multiple locations on the Island of Oahu and throughout the 7th Fleet area of responsibility. NIOC Hawaii/CTF 1070 is composed of more than 2,000 Active and Reserve Sailors and civilians and is a leader in integrating IW efforts across cyber, space, and electromagnetic domains.
Since its establishment, FCC/C10F has grown into an operational force composed of more than 15,000 Active and Reserve Sailors and civilians organized into 29 active commands, 40 Cyber Mission Force units, and 29 reserve commands around the globe. FCC serves as the Navy component command to U.S. Strategic Command and U.S. Cyber Command, and the Navy's Service Cryptologic Component commander under the National Security Agency/Central Security Service. C10F, the operational arm of FCC, executes its mission through a task force structure similar to other warfare commanders. In this role, C10F provides support of Navy and joint missions in cyber/networks, cryptologic/signals intelligence and space.