“I spent 24 years in the Navy. I retired out of here. It really hits close to home,” says retired service member Jack Minster.
Minster retired in 1994, but his heart still belongs to the Naval Air Station in Belle Chasse. He says he’s been watching the coverage out of Washington, D.C. since he heard there were shots fired inside the Navy Yard.
“You never know nowadays who is going to go to the dark side,” says Minster.
Minster is not alone. Belle Chasse and New Orleans are home to thousands of active and retired service members. In fact close to 7500 military personnel work on the base day in and day out, and over 2000 families live at the Naval Air Station in Belle Chasse. Those with close ties to the military say there’s no doubt military members in and around New Orleans have been trying to contact friends and family at the Washington, D.C. Navy Yard.
Victoria Davis says, “It’s just sad and scary because the world is just getting; it’s just awful. It’s getting so bad.”
“Everybody looks out for everyone in the military and it’s a shame. It’s not good. We shouldn’t be doing that to each other, so it definitely is not a good thing, especially at these times,” says Anthony Charette with the U.S. Coast Guard.
Public Affairs Officer Andrew Thomas with the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base New Orleans says:
“Regarding today’s incident at the Washington, D.C. Navy Yard, the current security posture for Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base New Orleans is to remain ready, vigilant and alert. The air station does not discuss the specifics of force protection measures or its security policy. The security force is always on duty, watchful and prepared to act.”
Family members of Washington Navy Yard employees looking for information about their loved ones can contact the Warfighter and Family Support Center at 202-433-6151 or 202-433-9713.