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Navy Seabee Jessica Smith’s Artwork Recalls U.S. Navy History

13 December 2023

From Spc. Tianna Johnson

Camp Lemonnier’s quarterdeck is getting a makeover, thanks to U.S. Navy Builder 2nd Class Jessica Smith, a performance assessment representative for CLDJ’s Public Works Department.
For three months, Smith has spent her free time painting a set of murals on the front of the quarterdeck counter. The murals depict vintage WWII posters, including recruiting ads for the Seabees, Rosie the Riveter and scenes of ships in port.

Chief Logistics Specialist Kurt Zabel-Grell approached Smith about painting the Navy quarterdeck after he saw her artwork on her phone.

“I knew she was going to do an amazing job with this project,” said Zabel-Grell, who pushed her ideas up to the installation commander for approval.

Smith describes her artistic process as peaceful; painting allows her to go into her own world at the end of a long day.

“I’m happy the Navy lets me utilize my passion, even on a deployment,” Smith said.

When she’s not painting, Smith uses her spare time at CLDJ to finish her master’s degree in early childhood education with the help of Navy tuition assistance. She wants to be an art teacher.

“If I can continue to paint and work with kids for the rest of my life, I’d be a happy camper,” said Smith.

Camp Lemonnier is an operational installation that enables U.S., allied and partner nation forces to be where they are needed to ensure security and protect U.S. interests. The installation provides world-class support for service members, transient U.S. assets and 38 local tenant commands, including CJTF-HOA. (Story by U.S. Army Specialist Tianna Johnson)

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