Bremerton Navy shop serves those who serve

(From left) Servmart’s Rick Roque, Vic Guerra and Chris Norcross display the most recent accolades given to the store by various military commands. - Charles Melton/staff photo
(From left) Servmart’s Rick Roque, Vic Guerra and Chris Norcross display the most recent accolades given to the store by various military commands.
— image credit: Charles Melton/staff photo

Peninsula Services teams with veterans to make a difference.

In a nondescript warehouse on Arsenal Way, a group of patriotic workers and veterans reach out across the globe providing essential support for active duty military personnel and other government agencies.

Peninsula Services’ Servmart store adheres to the simply understated motto of “Serving those who serve,” while at the same time providing jobs for people with differing developmental abilities. Those efforts have been recognized by military commands on an international and national level.

That effort is led by a trio of retired Navy chief petty officers, Chris Norcross, Rick Roque and Vic Guerra.

“We’re all retired Navy aviator chief petty officers,” Norcross said.

Having been on different ships and experienced first-hand the unpredictable nature of military operations, Roque said the No. 1 goal is to help active duty personnel be able to do their jobs more efficiently while at the same time helping others through Peninsula Services.

“We have kids and adults here who wouldn’t be able to work anywhere else,” he said.

Because Servmart is located in Bremerton, all of the proceeds stay local and contribute to the local economy instead of being spent elsewhere, Roque said.

Many government agencies are now required to purchase Javits-Wagner-O’Day Act products, which are assembled by those with developmental disabilities or other physical limitations.

Servmart is the only supplier of those products in the local area, according to Peninsula Services Executive Director Jill Robinson.

The store is usually open five days a week, but when it comes to serving those who are serving in the Armed Forces, Norcross said arrangements are often made to accommodate deployment schedules.

“If they need it and we have it in stock, we’ll get it to them that day,” he said.

However, if it isn’t on hand, all three veterans said it doesn’t take long for them to procure the needed item and ship it via the quickest means available.

Often times, sailors, Marines or other federal employees will come to the store looking for an item, but are unsure as to exactly what it is they need, Norcross said.

“If they can describe it to us, chances are we get it for them, because we’ve been there,” Norcross said.

All three men agreed that while all of the accolades are appreciated, they’re not what makes the job so enjoyable.

“We’re just doing our jobs, which is to help them,” Guerra said.

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