Episode 73: Featuring Dennis DuBard and Tom Garcia

Dennis DuBard - NASSCO & SDMAC

Dennis DuBard, Manager of Public and Government relations for General Dynamics NASSCO and 2017 President of San Diego Military Advisory Council sat down with Rise Up Radio hosts, James Carmody and Jared Kelley to talk about the impact NASSCO and SDMAC are having within the community. DuBard, a retired Navy Captain served in the military for 30 years. He explains that NASSCO is not only San Diego’s hometown shipyard, but has been building ocean going ships for close to 60 years. They built their first Navy ship in 1963 and over the last 20 months have delivered 10 ships, all of which have been built in San Diego. DuBard shares the history behind a current navy ship being built in the yard today which is named after the last remaining recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor from Iwo Jima, the USS Hershel “Woody” Williams. The commissioning ceremony will be held in October. NASSCO is on San Diego Chamber’s honor role for hiring veterans and DuBard talks about their hiring process and their intense 8 week training program. “We have a really robust training program and we have really three criteria for hiring. The one they have to demonstrate a work history but also were they good employees? Did they come to work on time, and that work history could be McDonald's, Burger King any place that an opportunity that they were employed and that they had some feedback”, He said. DuBard who has been affiliated with San Diego Military Advisory Council talks about SDMAC’s work in bringing support to the active duty and retired military community in San Diego. DuBard explained, “You look at veterans and active duty and there are a lot of folks who are going to be transitioning over time, and SDMAC wants to play a role in making that transition just a little easier. “ One out of five people in San Diego are directly connected to getting their paycheck from the defense industry in San Diego.

 

Tom Garcia - USO and Commissioning of USS Peralta 

Tom Garcia, Army veteran, USO San Diego Advisory board member and member of the Commissioning Committee, sat down with Rise Up Radio hosts, Jared Kelley and James Carmody to open up about his work with the USO and the upcoming commissioning of the USS Peralta. Garcia has been on the USO board for nine years and he explains how after helping to serve a Christmas dinner to military spouses at Camp Pendleton, he wanted to do more to serve others. It wasn’t long before someone from the USO came to him and said they wanted to talk to him about getting involved. “It’s an amazing journey to meet these young men and women (in military). I get a little bit choked up sometimes because it really is important and it’s been an important part of my life,” he goes on to say, “It’s been an awesome experience”. Garcia explains what it means to be a part of the commissioning of the USS Peralta and talks about Sergeant Rafael Peralta the US Marine the destroyer is named after. He tells Kelley and Carmody, “There’s certain things that kind of grab you in your life. Being able to be a part of that commissioning was really an honor for me. When I heard the story about him being born in Mexico wanting to be a Marine but he couldn’t because he wasn’t a citizen so he worked on getting his papers, he got is papers and the day he did- he joined the Marine Corps. He wanted to become a citizen of the United States and he wanted to join the Marine Corps.” Sergeant Peralta was killed in when he sacrificed his life to save fellow Marines in 2004 during a second battle in Fallujah. Garcia said, “Think about somebody who wasn’t even a citizen but wanted to become one and then gave his life up for everything that’s important to us. He was courageous to the end, and he did it for all of us”. The commissioning ceremony will be held July 29, 2017.

TAKE ACTION

1. It is important, as a community, to have an appreciation for these industries and the uniformed individuals and the hard work and benefits they bring our community. SDMAC hosts monthly breakfast meetings for active duty, retired and civilian guests. The meetings take place on the 3rd Wednesday of the month from 7:30 - 9:00 am at the Naval Mine and ASW Complex on North Harbor Drive. Visit SDMAC's website to get more information about their events and see the featured speakers! 

2. The commissioning of USS Peralta is a honorable and special event! Increasing awareness and support is important. The commissioning will be held on July 29, 2017 at 10 am at the Naval Air Station, North Island on Coronado. You can learn how you can help and spread the word by visiting their website.