By Mark O. Piggott, Naval Weapons Station Yorktown Public Affairs
YORKTOWN, Va. (NNS) -- Naval Weapons Station (WPNSTA) Yorktown and Fleet and Family Support Center (FFSC) Yorktown brought together military families for an evening of education and entertainment at the annual National Night Out, Aug. 3, at Lincoln Military Housing aboard the installation.
WPNSTA Yorktown is one of 15,000 communities across the country participating in National Night Out, bringing first-responders together with community partners to help raise awareness of personal and community safety with military families.
"This night has come together to give you the opportunity to meet with the first responders from Newport News and York County," said Capt. Lowell Crow, commanding officer, WPNSTA Yorktown. "These are the people who provide your support so this is a great opportunity for you to get to know them."
This is the 29th year for National Night Out, "America's night out against crime," the chance for service members and dependents to learn more about military and community resources and an opportunity for families to meet emergency services personnel who work hard to protect and serve our community.
"We had well over 600 attendees, counting program representatives, military families and vendors, a 30 percent increase in attendance from last year," said Michele Bondurant, FFSC Yorktown director.
The field was crowded with more than 30 vendors and several military displays from WPNSTA Yorktown and its tenant commands. Families were given a head start in school supplies thanks to major corporations, York County and Newport News schools as well as other local businesses. Everything from traffic and fire safety to home security and family wellness were represented at the National Night Out program.
"National Night Out is conducted as a festival-like experience with food, music, a parade of law enforcement and fire trucks, games for the children, interactive vendor displays, fire and safety demonstrations, raffle drawings, and many vendor give-aways," Bondurant said.
"It is in this family fun environment that Navy families learn and benefit from the many resources available to them both in the Navy and throughout the community. It emphasizes and solidifies the importance of team work, collaboration and community partnerships both on our installation and throughout the surrounding area," she added. "National Night Out provides a forum to celebrate a sense of community within the Naval Weapons Station and provides a venue to showcase the many resources available to Navy families."
With an increase in community participation in just its second year at WPNSTA Yorktown, the future for more events like the National Night Out will continue in years to come.
"It is important to keep WPNSTA Yorktown perpetually engaged with the Navy family population and in working to continually strengthen its community bonds, collaboration vision and strategy," Bondurant said. "Next year we hope to have even more community vendors from James City and York County, along with added representation from Navy resources."