Operation Homefront-Florida North Florida Manager
Here in Jacksonville, it was on every news station. Congressman Ander Crenshaw and Senator Bill Nelson announced that Congress had finally signed off on making Mayport Naval Station in Jacksonville, FL the new home for one of Norfolk’s 5 nuclear carriers. The carrier will probably not arrive until 2012, but when it does it will bring almost 4000 additional service members and their families to the Jacksonville area. It’s hard to believe, but in the next 5 years preparations for the arrival will require nearly a half of a billion dollars in upgrades and changes to the Mayport pier and St Johns River. The carrier will definitely be a positive boost for Jacksonville’s economy.
It made me think, for Operation Homefront-Florida, the addition of the nuclear carrier will certainly have an impact as well. What was once a deployment of a few hundred sailors at a time will now be an exodus of 4000, with their respective families waiting at home. As Operation Homefront chapters in Virginia, California, and Washington all support larger Naval deployments, Operation Homefront-Florida will be ready to provide support to these military families. Although the state of Virginia is probably unhappy to lose one of its carriers, I know that Operation Homefront-Florida will welcome the 4000 sailors and their families to Florida. As our chapter continues to grow, I look forward to the carrier coming to Jacksonville and the opportunity to support these families.
This writer works for the Florida chapter of Operation Homefront, Inc., a 501 (c ) 3 organization supporting military families and wounded warriors.