Rain throughout the day did nothing to dampen the enjoyment of staff members and their families who attended the Junior Officer Council (JOC) picnic held at the Morale, Welfare and Recreation Pavilion at Naval Support Activity Bethesda (NSAB) Aug. 23.
“It’s all part of the fun,” Maj. Deanna Hutchings, JOC senior adviser, said. “Everything has come together and everyone has worked together so well to bring some fun and fellowship to the command.”
The JOC is an organization aimed at cultivating and supporting the personal and professional development of junior officers in all branches of the military who are assigned to NSAB and its tenant commands.
“I’m very grateful to the Junior Officer Council and our other service organizations for their hard work in putting this picnic together,” Brig. Gen. (Dr.) Jeffrey Clark, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) director, said. “Folks are having a great time. It’s very important that we all come together, have fellowship and just have a good time. It’s good for us. We need to be together outside of work.”
Picnickers were treated to a catered barbecue meal paid for by the JOC and courtesy of Giggy’s BBQ, whose owner, Eddie Gignac, served four years in the Air Force and whose father is also an Air Force veteran.
“Being a military brat and knowing what we did growing up and the sacrifices we made as a family, I’m honored to be here,” Gignac added.
Cmdr. Chellie Serwer attended the picnic with her children, who asked her to take them to a bounce house as their last fun activity before the school year began. Fortunately for Serwer, there were two bounce houses at the picnic, along with other family activities like a potato sack race and tug of war competition. Attendees were treated to as much popcorn, cotton candy and snow cones as they could eat.
Red Cross volunteers were on hand with several service dogs, and a local military family organization, the Oakleaf Club of Greater Washington, D.C., conducted a book drive benefiting Books4Kids, a pediatric literacy program.
Junior Officer Council President Army 1st Lt. Regine Faucher was pleased with the turnout, even though Mother Nature didn’t fully cooperate.
“At the end of the day we’re here for the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, Coast Guardsmen and civilians who work at all commands on NSAB and make it such a great place to be, so we just wanted to show them our appreciation and how much we know that they work hard,” Faucher added. “The families are having fun and that’s what it’s all about.”