Story and Photos by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Marissa Valentine
(YOKOSUKA, Japan) — The Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society held its annual Active Duty Fund Drive breakfast at Commander Fleet Activities Yokosuka’s officer’s club June 10. The breakfast was prepared by the staff at the newly renovated officer’s club galley.
“Today we are trying to say thank you to the command volunteers,” said Yokosuka’s Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society Director Tanya Hertel. “The Active Duty Fund Drive is driven by Sailors and Marines asking their fellow service members for a donation. Today is about showing appreciation to the people who made the time and put forth the extra effort, and additional duty that is required in order to try and help us raise funds.”
The Navy- Marine Corps Relief Society began helping service members after its founding on January 23, 1904. The society was formed by Naval officers and their wives as away to provide a more formal and organized way to assist the families of military personnel.
Funding first became available following the 1903 Army-Navy Football Game held at Franklin Field, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Proceeds from that game were distributed equally to the Army and Navy and then divided amongst the widows and families of enlisted men in need.
Due to military pay delays during World War I, the Society began giving interest-free loans in order to aide Navy and Marine Corps family members so that they were able to cover bills, and expenses until pay checks were received.
“The Active Duty Fund drive is done once a year, and is usually done once a month,” Hertel said. “The purpose is to raise funds, and that money goes into a pot that is used directly for service members [Navy and Marine Corps] all around the world.”
“CFAY and Capt. Glenister have been instrumental in helping especially with today,” added Hertel. “The office has allowed me ready access to get what I need in order to make sure we have the ability to properly appreciate the people who have made this happen.”
“Events like this remind people of the services we provide, and these services would not be possible without volunteers. The NMCRS has been around for a long time and our mission is to help Navy service members and Marines in any way that we can.”
“It is difficult to talk to your peers. It is challenging to approach someone and ask them to please consider making a donation. NMCRS is a great organization, and the money that is raised by you, service members is there because of your efforts,” said CFAY’s Commanding Officer Capt. David Glenister.
“Thank you for all you have done,” said Glenister.
CFAY provides support for ships and tenant commands in the 7th Fleet area of operations.