Vinson Sailors Volunteer at Virginia Beach Soccer Event

Story Number: NNS080611-21Release Date: 6/11/2008 3:31:00 PM
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By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW) Rafael Martie, USS Carl Vinson Public Affairs

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (NNS) -- Sailors assigned to USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) helped set the stage for the 15th annual National American Sand Soccer Championship (NASSC) tournament June 5, in Virginia Beach.

The event provided Carl Vinson Sailors an opportunity to help organize and participate in a community relations (COMREL) event, providing much needed assistance with the facilitation of the tournament.

"COMRELs are an excellent way to pay back the community and show our appreciation, as a crew, for everything the citizens have done for our individual [augmentees] and deployed Sailors," said Chief Aviation Support Equipment Technician (AW) Boris San Andres. "Local citizens have sent our Sailors care packages and have done many thoughtful things for our ship over the years. We have great community support here in Hampton Roads."

"Gold Eagle" Sailors were critical to the preparation of the event, taking charge with setting up posts, lines, goal nets, and grids for the games.

"It is nice to participate in an event that will allow about 9,200 soccer players from across the country play against the best of the best here in Virginia Beach," said Belen. "Plus, the Carl Vinson soccer team will also be playing, so we will also be supporting our shipmates."

Carl Vinson dedicates thousands of man-hours to community relations projects throughout the year. In 2007, the Carl Vinson crew donated more than 40,000 volunteer hours to the Hampton Roads community.

The command also received the Good Neighbor Flagship Award for Large Commands Afloat for the past two consecutive years. The award recognizes large at-sea commands for outstanding community service contributions to the local community.

"Just helping to set things up was a great opportunity to assist local citizens in a fun atmosphere," said Aviation Support Equipment Technician 3rd Class Roberto Gutierrez. "We live in Hampton Roads too, so we're really just out here helping out our neighbors."

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