Discuss as:

US Navy Seabees spend Veteran's Day helping Hurricane Sandy victims in Breezy Point

John Makely / NBC News

Seabee EOCN Courtney McCormack, left, grabbed a shovel and started digging out the sand that had washed up against the house as others in the group grabbed the waterlogged debris to begin a 100 yard walk out of the neighborhood to a large trash pile.

They were supposed to have time off with family before an upcoming deployment to Japan, but the U.S. Navy Seabees of Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 5 based in California are providing muscle to the cleanup effort in Breezy Point, N.Y. after Hurricane Sandy.

Seabee EOCN Courtney McCormack grabbed a shovel and started digging out the sand that had washed up against a house. Meanwhile, others in the group grabbed waterlogged debris and began a 100 yard walk out of the neighborhood to a large trash pile.

John Makely / NBC News

EOCN Joe Thomas takes debris from resident Carolyn Sculley as she cleans up the family bungalow in Breezy Point, N.Y.
on Nov. 12.

John Makely / NBC News

EOCN Joe Thomas holds a bag open as Maura Sculley sweeps debris from the family bungalow in Breezy Point, N.Y. on Nov. 12.

Resident Carolyn Sculley was cleaning up the bungalow that has been in the family for 83 years. "On the weekend [the Seabees] were swarming the place. They couldn't take the garbage away fast enough," she said. Sculley was ripping up the flooring in the family home. Although it was not severely damaged, many keepsakes had to be discarded. "I had to throw out all my dad's old fishing gear. He took such good care of it."

John Makely / NBC News

Resident Carolyn Sculley talks about the history of her family's bungalow with Seabee Joseph Thomas during a break from the cleanup.

John Makely / NBC News

Seabee EOCN Courtney McCormack grabs a load of debris.

John Makely / NBC News

CE2 Marlon Hernandez pulls a cart full of debris past a house wrecked by Hurricane Sandy in Breezy Point, N.Y on Nov. 12.

John Makely / NBC News

Marie Woods stands outside her Breezy Point home on Nov. 12.

Marie Woods, who has owned a second home on Marion Walk since 1977, was thrilled to get the help. "They just walked by and asked if they could help and I just went: Woohoo!"

 

Team Rubicon, a veteran group coordinating relief efforts, is helping those hit hard by Hurricane Sandy while also helping themselves regain a life purpose after many years of being without a mission. NBC's Stephanie Gosk reports.

Also on PhotoBlog:

Mario Tama / Getty Images

A snowstorm hits the Northeast as residents are still struggling to pick up the pieces after Superstorm Sandy.

Carlo Allegri / Reuters

The country expresses its gratitude for veterans and their service with ceremonies and parades.