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Recently, Iíve witnessed a few things on the installation that made me think about what it means to be a good neighbor.

The first is related to the recent closure of the Building 55 parking garage. This is something that cropped up on short notice. We all know parking is a problem on this installation and to suddenly close approximately 750 spaces required a lot of neighborliness on the part of a whole lot of people to mitigate this problem: neighborliness on the part of our new Navy Exchange who allowed us to use their parking garage prior to its final completion; neighborliness on the part of our tenants and staff on the installation who allowed us to continue to make patient parking our highest priority; and finally, neighborliness on the part of our entire security team who helped pull the whole thing together. To all of you mentioned above, I would like to extend a sincere thank you.

That is the good news. The bad news is that a few staff members intentionally, even rudely, ignored our security officersí directions on traffic flow and where to park. I understand that parking here can sometimes try your patienceÖ but you can either choose to be among the 95 percent of those on this installation who are part of the solution or you can be someone who is part of the problem. Itís about integrity. Itís about manners. Itís about neighborliness.

The next issue Iíve seen is also related to being a good neighbor this time, a good neighbor to our friends outside the fence line. There have been several recent reports, both to me and in the media, about staff parking in the neighborhoods around the base. This has been causing some hard feelings from the residents of those neighborhoods. These are people who have put up with quite a bit over the last few years with minimal complaint. They have understood because in large part they fully realize the importance of our mission here. In exchange for their understanding, we try and do everything we can to cause as little inconvenience as possible and we make every effort to make them feel like they are a part of our community despite the fence line that separates us. So, itís disheartening to see some of that effort undone with the flow of staff in and out of those neighborhoods. In most cases, unless otherwise designated, parking there is legal and I canít tell you not to park there. But I can tell you that parking there has a strategic impact on our mission and is not in the best interest of our neighbors, this installation and those we serve.

Honor, courage, and commitment. These ideals set our military culture apart, in a positive and enduring way. As it turns out, acting on these ideals also makes you a great neighbor. These are big words for such seemingly small issues. But, applied every day and to situations as mundane as parking, it adds up.

All Ahead Full,

Capt. Frederick (Fritz) Kass

Naval Support Activity

Bethesda

Commanding Officer