Sailors help local refuge, honor school shooting victims

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by Joe Flanagan, 13News Now

WVEC.com

Posted on July 21, 2013 at 7:39 PM

Updated Sunday, Jul 21 at 7:40 PM

VIRGINIA BEACH -- When he's on the job, Jordan Banks handles ordnance on aircraft carrier USS George H. W. Bush. In his spare time, he and some shipmates handle gardening materials.

They've helped Evelyn Flengas build Catherine's Corner at Flengas' wildlife refuge. The garden is in memory of Catherine Hubbard who was among the students and adults killed in December in a shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.

"Every time she tells the story, she weeps a little bit, and the story never gets old," Banks said, referring to Flengas. "It's near and dear to her heart, and it's near and dear to ours 'cause she's such a wonderful person."

Flengas had 26 bricks placed in the garden. Each one represents a victim of the shooting. Flengas contacted Catherine Hubbard's mother to let her know about the memorial. She told 13News Now Jordan and his shipmates made it all happen.

"They do the major brunt, what we call the grunt work: cutting down tree branches, putting up new squirrel boxes, toting bags of stones,” Flengas explained.

Flengas began operating Evelyn's Wildlife Refuge more than 20 years ago in Virginia Beach.

Jordan decided he would hold his Navy re-enlistment ceremony on the property this week.

"It's just going to be my mother and a lot of people from my ship and a lot of friends who come volunteer here every weekend or any chance we get a free time," said Banks, who wanted to make sure everything was ship-shape before his mother arrives from Houston.
 

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