Navy Seabee Foundation

New York Mets Honor U.S. Navy Seabees


To kick off Memorial Day weekend, the Seabees will be the featured guests of the New York Mets, as they take on the San Diego Padres this evening.  The stands will be filled with some 300 active duty and retired Seabees, school students from the local community, and Seabee friends and family members.

A highlight of the evening’s tribute will be a pre-game home plate ceremony where Seabee veterans from three major conflicts – WWII, Vietnam and Afghanistan – will be honored for their service. Each honoree joined the Seabees under varying circumstances, but they all joined for the same reason – to use their skills to serve their country.

Here are their inspiring stories.

Bob Wolff | World War II

During his senior year at Duke University, Bob Wolff knew he was going to be a part of World War II one way or another. As fate would have it, Bob was already an entertainer and sportscaster so he was commissioned by the Navy to be an officer in the Supply Corps. He had two choices: to take care of the books and the money or be an entertainer. He chose the latter.

Bob didn’t know anything about the Seabees when he joined, but he soon learned during his first assignment to the Solomon Islands that the Seabees could take a remote island and transform it all by themselves into something livable. Although there was no instruction manual, Bob said, “That Seabee ‘Can Do’ attitude was contagious, and soon we were figuring out how to secure food, water, shelter and the basics of life in this desolate space.”

Bob went on to establish a career as a sports broadcaster and holds the Guinness World Record for longest-running Radio and TV Broadcaster/Sportscaster. Bob and his wife Jane have been married for 72 years and are the proud parents of three children, grandparents of nine and great-grandparents of 11. To read more about Bob’s compelling story, click here.

Joseph Kubat | Vietnam War

Joseph’s family fled communist Czechoslovakia after WWII, and he grew up proud of his U.S. citizenship. In 1967, Joseph was assigned to MCB 128 stationed in Gulfport, Mississippi and was deployed to Da Nang. Reflecting on the many useful skills he learned as a Seabee, Joseph said,  “The skills I learned in the Navy and the ‘Can Do’ motto have helped me in many ways, instilling the confidence and ability to literally build a house and become a successful person.”

After discharge, Joseph completed his education and became a teacher in New York City, where he taught for 46 years. Joseph currently lives in Manhattan with his wife and has three adult children.

“I am honored I was selected to represent so many Navy heroes. Being at Citi Field tonight fulfills a lifelong dream of being at the Mets’ home – and as close to home plate as I will ever be! Thank you.”

Jonathan Murray | Afghanistan

Petty Officer Second Class Jonathan Murray, a native of Plainview, NY, enlisted in the U.S. Navy Reserves in 2010. In 2011, after graduating boot camp and completing Builder A School, he was assigned to NMCB 21 at NOSC NYC.

Just two short years later, Petty Officer Murray was assigned to active duty with NMCB 28 and deployed overseas to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. He worked as the subject matter expert tasked with training the Afghan National Army’s Engineering Brigade. During that time, he earned his Seabee Combat Warfare pin and the unit was awarded the Meritorious Unit Commendation.

Petty Officer Murray was assigned back to reserve duty in 2014 and is currently an active drilling reservist with NMCB 27. He resides on Long Island with his wife, Tracey, where he works as a police officer for the Suffolk County Police Department. He has served as a police officer for a decade, including four years with the NYPD.

“What being a Seabee has meant to me can be summed up in one word – pride. Serving as part of such a strong, proud history built on hard work, dedication, and the ‘Can Do’ attitude, has not only given me pride in my military work as a Seabee, but pride in the work I put into all aspects of my life. When people ask what branch of the military I’m in, I don’t just say Navy, I say, ‘The Navy Seabees.'”

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