Story by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Grant Wamack
Deep inside the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74), next to the roaring of industrial-sized washers and dryers, lies a small shop tucked away into the corner. Sailors drop their uniforms off here and come back the next day to pick them up.
This little-known place is the tailor shop and it’s run by one person: Airman Keera Jones from Houston.
Before Jones worked in the tailor shop, part of Supply Department’s S-5 Division, she was temporarily assigned to laundry, where she was trained in the delicate art of sewing. Even without prior experience, Jones picked up the trade quickly and eventually was placed in the tailor shop full-time.
“It wasn’t really that difficult to learn,” said Jones. “It just took time and practice. Now I can do it like no tomorrow.”
The tailor shop receives between 30–70 uniforms per day, which Jones finishes in a matter of hours. She accepts uniforms needing rating badges, rank or warfare pins and she’ll hem clothing.
Despite being the only Sailor working in the tailor shop, Jones enjoys the responsibility and peace sewing brings.
“I know a lot of people are relying on me,” said Jones. “It makes me happy that I can help others out. Everyone can’t sew so a lot of people count on me.”
Many Sailors are thankful for the tailor shop and Jones’ valuable skill set.
“The tailor shop was fantastic,” said Culinary Specialist Seaman Andy Rodriguez, from Los Angeles. “I couldn’t tell the difference between them and the Navy Exchange tailor services. Plus, it’s free and it can’t get any better than that.”
The John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group (JCSCSG), consisting of Stennis, Carrier Air Wing 9, Destroyer Squadron 21, and guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG 53) are forward deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility conducting maritime security operations, theater security cooperation efforts and support missions for Operation Enduring Freedom.
Airman Recruit Ke’Era Jones, from Houston, sews a collar device onto a uniform in the tailor shop aboard the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kenneth Abbate/Released)