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As I said in one of my earlier posts, I have been a proud employee of the US Navy for most of the last 39 years. Shortly before 9:00 this morning I was alerted that there had been shootings at the headquarters of the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) at the Washington Navy Yard, about 20 miles south of where I work in a Navy Laboratory. They immediately instituted a lockdown of my laboratory, no one in or out, for our own protection. Meanwhile, we all have friends and colleagues who work at NAVSEA and other commands located at the Navy Yard, so we did our best to contact them and insure that they are OK. So far, I have heard from most of my friends, and have been relieved to find out that they are OK.

This has not been an easy year to be a Federal employee. I hope that most of the people following today’s news will realize that the people who have been shot and/or killed are part of the Federal workforce that is constantly denigrated by politicians, the media and the public. I know that in the DC area many people were happy when we were furloughed, believing we deserved it, since we never did any work anyway. Too many people lump us all together into a mass of “faceless” do-nothing bureaucrats. Perhaps this will show the politicians, the media and the public that these Federal employees are not “faceless” bureaucrats, but real people who come to work every day to serve the nation and, in this case, the fleet.

I’m following the news and I hope that this situation can be resolved soon (at this time they believe that there are still two shooters at large at the Navy Yard), and my heart goes out to the employees, who were killed or injured, and to their families. Think about these people the next time you hear someone talk about “faceless” bureaucrats and worthless government employees…