NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS) -- Sailors assigned to USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) recently volunteered their time and efforts to participate in two community relation (COMREL) projects Oct. 14 and 17 in Newport News, Va.
Service members spent the day with students from Hines Middle School. They also volunteered to distribute groceries to families at Mercy and Truth Ministries.
"This is an outstanding opportunity to give back to the community that has been so good to us," said Religious Program Specialist 3rd Class Sandra Hosier, assistant COMREL coordinator. "It's our chance to connect with the community and at the same time it promotes leadership, initiative, and professional growth for our Sailors."
Sailors spoke to classes about the Sailors' Navy experiences and the students' future goals and participated in a game of kickball during physical education class.
"I think the mentoring the military does is so important for a lot of kids," said Dr. Victor Guisao, the sixth grade assistant principal for Hines Middle School. "I don't think people understand the impact that [military service members] have on these kids. We try to instill in them discipline, and [military service members] are the epitome of discipline."
Carl Vinson Sailors continued the spirit of giving and partnered with Mercy and Truth Ministries and Angel Food Ministries to help distribute groceries to families. Angel Food Ministries is a nonprofit, nondenominational organization dedicated to providing food relief and financial support to communities throughout the United States.
Recently naturalized citizen and Carl Vinson Sailor, Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Equipment) 3rd Class Franklin Orpilla and his fiancee Richezl Esquivel came out to lend a helping hand.
"I just got my citizenship yesterday," said Orpilla. "I wanted to give back to my community any way I can and do my duty as a United States citizen."
When asked about the Carl Vinson Sailors, Angel Food Distribution Coordinator, Curtis Young answered, "I love them. The Carl Vinson Sailors make the whole process so much easier."
The Carl Vinson crew completed 2,000 hours and 22 total COMREL's for fiscal year 2008. Carl Vinson Sailors plan to continue working with Hines Middle School and Mercy and Truth until their homeport change early 2010.
For more news from USS Carl Vinson, visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn70/.