Dear NNOA Members,
First of all, our prayers go out to the people of Texas and Louisiana impacted by Hurricane Harvey, which dumped record rains in the region. Additionally, our thoughts are with the members of the Sea Services and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) who are supporting recovery efforts.
Anyone can provide help before or during a crisis, and that is one of the main themes of Suicide Prevention Month, which is September. According to Defense Suicide Prevention Office, there were 266 suicides in the Active Component, 90 in the Reserve Component of the SELRES, and 123 in the National Guard Component of the SELRES Calendar year 2015 annual report. One suicide is too many. So, it’s important to understand that everyone can play a positive role in suicide prevention.
The Department of Defense devotes the entire month of September to promoting sustainable community-wide approaches to suicide prevention education and awareness. Supporting resources are available from the Navy Personnel Command, the Navy and Marine Corps Public Health Center and the Coast Guard Office of Work-Life Programs. Suicide prevention is an all hands effort. We must do our part. Pay attention to your Shipmate. If you suspect something, say something. Better to be wrong than sorry.
In addition, I am in my final year of my term as your President. I want us to focus on five areas: Chapter Engagement, Membership growth, one dues initiative, Symposium 2018 and the successful completion of our Strategic review.
How can you help us? To our members at large, join a Chapter. We appreciate your dues but we need your talents. To our retirees, give us a few hours of your time. If you have not been asked, volunteer to be a Senior Advisor in your Chapter. Volunteer to serve on our 2018 Symposium Planning Committee. To our Senior Officers, NNOA will be as strong as your efforts to keep it strong and relevant. Touch Chapter Leadership if not regularly every now and then and let them know you are there to support. Reach out and touch our Junior Officers who feel they can make it without an organization like NNOA. Wisdom comes with age and we know better and must do better.
I look forward to all your support to continue to make NNOA the premier Seas Services Affinity Group today, tomorrow and into the future.
Yours in Service,
Denise J. McCallaCreary
Commander, United States Navy, Retired