[Post by Chuck Krugh, November 3, 2023]
Over the years, I have experienced numerous events that are etched into my mind, ones that I won’t ever forget. The events surrounding the mass shooting Wednesday, Oct. 25 in Lewiston is one of them.
While I don’t live in the Lewiston area like so many of our team (more than 1,000 in Androscoggin County), I can only imagine what you went through. Out of respect for you, I won’t even try to express what you felt (are feeling), went through (are going through) and are dealing with as a result of that terrible event. But as life starts to return to “normal,” not all of us will be moving at the same speed.
For all of those who experienced a loss during the shooting in Lewiston, my heart goes out to you. Many people’s lives were forever changed in a matter of minutes. As I walked around on the Thursday and Friday after the event, I learned that a lot of people knew someone who was affected by this tragedy. There were a lot of stories about lost friends.
As you know, we lost one of our own during the event – Peyton Brewer-Ross – a pipefitter and valuable member of our team. He was recently recognized for his five years of service in June. He graduated from our apprenticeship program last year; he was part of the first apprenticeship class that I had the opportunity to celebrate with and congratulate shortly after I came to BIW. We will definitely miss him, and my thoughts and prayers are with his fiancé, daughter and sister as well as his other family members who will be living the rest of their lives without him.
I also know that we have a fitter who lost his mother in the shooting. I have heard many good things about her during my walks around our facilities this past week. Although I didn’t know her, I heard consistently that she was a good person, a hard worker who worked several jobs and a good mother. My thoughts and prayers go out to our employee and his family.
I don’t want to diminish the losses of anyone else in our company by calling attention to these two individuals. I just wanted to share the stories of these two members of our BIW family who have been affected so deeply and directly.
As the healing begins, there are a lot of people who will need support going forward. While much of it will be centered around financial support for their families, they will also need family and friends to help them through the rough days and times ahead.
While BIW cannot do anything to change what happened, we can be here to help through our Life365 partnership. For the first week after the shooting, we had extra counselors onsite to be there for anyone who needed to talk to someone. Life365 provides free and confidential services to help our employees and our FAMILIES who need help in these trying times.
Please don’t hesitate to contact them.
See you on the deckplates.
Safely Execute High-Quality Work
President, General Dynamics Bath Iron Works
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