EAST LYME, Conn. – The Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut and Rotary Club of Niantic recognized a Sailor assigned to Naval Submarine Base New London’s Submarine School (SUBSCOL) during their Service Person of the Month (SPOM) awards program, July 24.
Religious Program Specialist 2nd Class Ambria Eidson was recognized for her outstanding job performance providing religious services to Sailors, as well as her volunteer work with the American Red Cross and Special Olympics Connecticut.
Eidson, a native of Nipomo, California, said she was shocked when she learned she had been selected for the award.
“This is my first civilian appreciation award,” said Eidson. “The fact that another [department] in my command recognized my efforts and put me up for this award means a great deal to me, I could not be more thankful.”
As an American Red Cross blood drive coordinator for SUBSCOL, Eidson has helped with the collection of more than 350 pints of blood, which is the most donations collected from the school since 2015. She also serves as an active volunteer and coach for special needs athletes.
“I am a water polo and swim coach and when I found out that Special Olympics was looking for a swim coach, I immediately called and signed up,” said Eidson. “Since then I have stayed with Special Olympics with different sports such as softball, basketball, floor hockey, soccer and swim.”
Eidson said volunteering for Special Olympics Connecticut was one of the best decisions she has ever made.
“Special Olympics is such an amazing program and every single athlete puts their all into whatever sport they are competing in,” she said. “To them, they don’t care if they don’t have the same abilities as others because they know that each person brings a special skill and works together to achieve their goal.”
Eidson added it makes a huge difference to know that someone who is not blood related to you truly cares about you and shows their support.
She also discussed what she found most exciting about volunteering and why everyone should find ways to get involved with their community.
“There is always progress no matter what it is, whether it’s a technical skill, communicating, morale, or attendance,” she said. “It keeps you on your toes and also opens up a completely new and most genuine world that I think everyone should be a part of.”
The SPOM program is a monthly event hosted by the Chamber of Commerce and local organizations in the Eastern Connecticut area. The program is designed to recognize service members who have demonstrated outstanding performance of both their official duties and voluntary contributions to the surrounding community.