BUSAN, Republic of Korea (NNS) -- Sailors from USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 17 and the Republic of Korea Navy (ROKN) visited the Sung Ae Won Home for Children as part of a community relations (COMREL) project in Busan, Republic of Korea, Jan. 13.
The Sung Ae Won home provides shelter for infants and children without a family and in need of immediate help and care.
Volunteers from several departments participated in a joint effort to reach the Korean community. Vinson, CVW-17 and ROKN Sailors read to and played with the children.
"Even though you have military duties, you still came here to protect the Korean Peninsula's peace and at the same time you gave your time to help our kids," said Hee Jung Lee, a social worker for Sung Ae Won. "It really helps to have people volunteer their goods and services but most importantly their time."
COMREL projects are one of the ways Vinson and CVW-17 continue to maintain a positive relationship with the Republic of Korea people. The Sailors and volunteers at the home spoke about the importance of interacting with the children.
"Participating in community relation events shows the world that we are more than just a military force," said Culinary Specialist 3rd Class Jasmine Anderson of Supply Department. "We have feelings too. Coming here and being around the kids made me appreciate my family."
"Taking care of children is not a one person job," said Lee. "We are here to teach them and help them as they grow."
"I was impressed with how well the children shared with one another," said Personnel Specialist 1st Class Deonta Jones of Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 125's Admin Department. "One of the kids even shared his chips with me."
Interior Communications Electrician 3rd Class Trish-an Campbell of Combat Systems Department explained how volunteering can bridge gaps between cultures.
"Language isn't important," said Campbell. "If you possess the basic human emotion of empathy, you can communicate with anyone from anywhere in the world."
Vinson and Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 1 are currently operating in the 7th Fleet area of responsibility and spent Jan. 11-14 in port ROK for a scheduled port visit.
For more news from USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn70/.