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Two civilian-Marines retire, volunteer in community

24 Nov 2010 | Nathan L. Hanks Jr., Editor

Two Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany civilian-Marines celebrated more than 70 years of combined service during a retirement luncheon at the Crossroads Restaurant here, Oct. 28.

Janet Haviland and Debbie Freed, both assigned to Special Projects, MCLB Albany, were honored by command members, co-workers and friends for their dedicated service to the Marine Corps and the nation.

“Janet and Debbie did not want to be recognized for their contributions, and if they could have it their way, they would have snuck out the door with nothing,” said Col. Terry V. Williams, commanding officer, MCLB Albany. “Frankly, that speaks to their heart of service with the understanding they don’t do it for themselves, they do it to serve.”

Both Haviland and Freed received a commendation for meritorious civilian service for their hard work and dedication while serving with MCLB Albany.

In addition, they each received a national ensign, which was flown over Coffman Hall, Building 3500, and a certificate of appreciation.

Janet Haviland

Haviland’s 35-year career began in 1974 as a stenographer in the Equal Employment Opportunity section. Rising through the ranks, she worked in a variety of fields including personnel administration and finance.

During her time here, Haviland held two key positions, comptroller and executive director. She is the second person to have held the executive director position in MCLB Albany’s history.

“It has been a wonderful 35 years,” she said. “I never thought I would retire inside this fence line. Those who have a bunch of years of service know when it is time to retire, time to do something different. Now it is time to do something different.”

Haviland has made several plans for her retirement including fixing up a barn, bailing hay and taking her dog to visit senior adults in a nursing home as part of Paws Patrol.

Paws Patrol is a not-for-profit organization of volunteers and their pets who promote healing through the human-animal bond.

“The last couple of months of my mother’s life was spent in the nursing home,” she said. “I think it is really important for them to see people. I will be taking my dog to visit residents in the nursing home, and I will listen to them because they have some very interesting stories.”

Debbie Freed

Freed’s career began here more than 34 years ago. In 1976, she started out as a stenographer working at what was then called Facilities and Services Division. From there she worked in a variety of offices including the accounting branch, maritime prepositioning ship office and Maintenance Center Albany, which was called Repair Division.

In 1987, she transferred to Okinawa, Japan, where she worked in the Contracting Office at Marine Corps Base Camp Smedley D. Butler. After a one- year tour, Freed relocated to Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C., where she worked as the secretary for the assistant chief of staff for training and operations from 1988-1992, before transferring back to Albany.

For the next three years, she worked at Repair Division where she started as a management assistant and eventually worked her way up to a supervisory role.

In 1995, she moved to Arlington, Va., where she was assigned as the secretary for the comptroller at the Office of Naval Research for a one year.

Freed then accepted a position in 1996 at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., as the supervisor, Support Services, Moral, Welfare and Recreation, where she worked for two years.

In 1999, after a six-month break, Freed found herself back in Albany working in a variety of jobs. She worked as a management assistant, secretary for the chief of staff for Materiel Command, and a management assistant and management analyst for Consolidated Administration Center.

When the base was re-organized in 2000, Freed began working in the Manpower Division at MCLB Albany. She became the branch head for the Civilian Personnel Branch and filled in as interim director of Manpower Division until her retirement.

In her last position, Freed was responsible for the management of the table of organization of more than 500 civilian-Marines and military members.

During the luncheon, Freed kept her comments short and expressed her appreciation to those who attended the retirement ceremony.

“I really did not want anything, but this does mean a lot,” Freed said. “I have enjoyed my career, and I love the Marine Corps.”

Freed plans to give back to the community and volunteer in her retirement. She plans to partner with Haviland and take their dogs to a local nursing home in Albany to visit with senior adults.

Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany