This job of searching out and finding wonderful unsung heroes of Calvert County just continues to get better with each passing week! This week’s personality was right under my snout all this time and was strongly promoted to me by the current Lusby Legion Post Commander Jay Bolles who believes his predecessor, Nate Stevens, does so much for the Post and the community with no need for fanfare. Jay, you are absolutely right! When you just stop and observe all that is going on around you, people like Nate are just whizzing by all the while and just become a part of a daily routine and seldom get a second thought.
In attempting to describe my friend Nate, my best thoughts are to compare him with the “Energizer Bunny”! The man never seems to stop and is always in a whirlwind to get something accomplished so as to move on to another project in support of others. But unlike the ubitiquos rabbit, Nate never beats his drum for himself, rather always gives the credit to others for any achievements that he may have directed or been a part of….
So let me tell you about this friend of mine from Wisconsin. Nate was born in Burlington and grew up in Kenosha County in the southeastern part of the state. He is a devout Green Bay Packer fan and a “cheese head” with a lifelong addiction for this dairy product! He is the second youngest of six siblings and graduated high school in 1981. Like many young folks, Nate wanted to see the world, and got as far as California during his first 6 months on the road before deciding to let the taxpayers finance the rest of his journey. He had the good sense to join the Navy and spent the next 25 years seeing the seven seas and the four corners of our globe prior to retiring here in 2007. His government paid trip took him throughout Europe, the Indian Ocean where he survived Diego Garcia, affectionately called “Dodge” by military members, back to California, and many other great “garden spots” before arriving here at Patuxent River from Naples, Italy in 2004.
During a tour in Lemoore, California, he bumped into another “naval tourist” Molly, and deciding two can travel as cheaply as one, they were married in San Diego, and have been traveling together for 28 years now. Their first assignment upon being married was a small transmitter facility outside of Seville, Spain. Can you imagine, a government sponsored, all expenses paid “honeymoon” in Spain! What a deal! Along the way they had a daughter Sarah who graduated from Frostburg State University with a degree in Parks and Recreation and now is employed at Jefferson Patterson State Park and son Robert who is currently attending the College of Southern Maryland. Both children are very bright and talented. Robert attained Eagle Scout in 2013 and earned a role in a recent production of The Alumni Players in Solomons.
I may have spoken in an earlier column of my youngest brother’s wife Lisa who also hails from this same area of Wisconsin, so I know of the wonderful, homespun quality of these folks who take care of one another the way good neighbors should. Nate is no exception as he has always been known for his willingness to help others. Early in his naval career, he became involved in community relations projects and provided much time and energy to the Boy Scouts. He feels this organization does an excellent job in molding young men. He remains very active with local Boy Scout troops here in the County. In 2011, he became a “Wood Badge” graduate as an adult leader. He has also worked with the Goshen Bears at the Goshen Scout Reservation in Virginia for more than 8 years and has directed many self-help efforts to improve the camping experience for young scouts from all over the area.
He previously held many volunteer positions including President of the Navy Chief Petty Officer’s Associations at NAS Naples and here at NAS Patuxent River. He provided excellent leadership and management traits in running these large fraternal non-profit organizations. He remains active in the Fleet Reserve Branch #93 in Lexington Park and the Moose Lodge #495 in Mechanicsville. Undoubtedly, as a senior enlisted man holding a Business Management degree [Summa Cum Laude] from American Intercontinental College, Nate is well prepared to provide advice and guidance for these community groups. But true to form, Nate states he could not accomplish anything without the support of the wonderful volunteers these organizations attract, and especially without the love of family!
The American Legion Post here in Lusby is closest to Nate’s heart. He has been deeply involved since taking on the duties as the Post Historian in 2006. He served several terms as the Post Adjutant before assuming the lead position as the Post Commander. During his tenure he has brought about significant changes in the running of the Post, improvements to the lounge area, the parking lot, a new patio as a smoking area, increased use of the internet for passing along Post activities, and a more comfortable, member friendly gathering spot for folks to enjoy. I know Nate will take little credit for much of these improvements, but I know from watching the enthusiasm build over the past few years, much of the credit for the large increase in membership is due in large part to Nate’s superb ability to work with people and draw the most out of them! And a major undertaking now underway to renovate the Post’s Harrington Hall this summer has Nate’s prints all over it!
In closing, Nate provided a long list of members to acknowledge in this story, officers and members and volunteers alike. Please know there are 700+ great citizens that make up the membership of this fine organization. A list of services and support this group gives regularly to our community would take another full page of print. To quote Nate, we are “the gateway for our veterans seeking support from the VA. We have Service Officers available to provide assistance for specific information and assistance to help these wonderful people who fought for our freedoms”!
Nate, I never dreamed I would say this to an individual who sports a green and yellow jersey with a large plastic wedge of cheese for a hat, but you are a truly beautiful person and I appreciate everything you do for your community on a regular basis! Good job, Shipmate!
If you know of an unsung citizen of Calvert County, please contact Dave at email@example.com.