PANAMA CITY, Fla. –
James “Skip” Skipper, purchase request creator and technical screener in Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division’s (NSWC PCD) Purchasing Branch, said he enjoys the customer service he is able to provide in his role. “I enjoy being part of a team that is agile and adjusts as needed to accomplish the mission at hand,” he said.
Skipper is retired from the U.S. Coast Guard. He was involved in an incident that left permanent damage to his back, neck and nerves. Skipper said this physical damage along with a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder is a daily struggle for him.
Skipper was recently selected as NSWC PCD's new Special Emphasis Program Lead for Individuals with Disabilities. Skipper said he is excited to be a part of this program and is passionate about helping others while bringing an overall awareness to the command.
“There is a quote, ‘Not all Disabilities are seen' – this has always resonated with me. It is important to realize that disabilities can reside above and below the surface,” he said. “The Apostle Paul writes, ‘Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.’ This means the disability a person has is simply an opportunity to reveal their strength.”
Skipper notes untreated concerns can quickly move in bringing suffering to the individual and their families. “I want to make a difference so others get the right help to lead a full, productive and wonderful life,” he said.
With help, Skip said he has learned how to cope and overcome through hobbies such as costume play (COSPLAY). “COSPLAY has allowed me to emcee conventions, host events for children with disabilities or whom are underprivileged, and educate my own children about true kindness no matter the differences,” he said. “I have found a community of friends that share my passion.”