BRISBANE, Australia (NNS) -- Sailors aboard the U.S. Navy's forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) participated in a community service event (COMSERV) at Brisbane Grammar School (BGS) during the crew's five-day port visit to Brisbane, Australia, Aug. 1.
Twenty-eight Sailors volunteered for the opportunity to mentor 450 students, ranging grades 6 to 8, which included a tour of the 145 year-old campus, lunch with the staff, an in-class question and answer session, and games in the private school's sport complex.
"It was a lot more enjoyable to have [the Sailors] there in the class instead of just all of our normal friends," said Oscar Medek, a BGS student. "It was really interesting to get to ask questions and I got to learn a lot about USS George Washington."
The students asked the Sailors questions ranging from their reasons for joining the Navy to seeing how much Australian slang they knew.
"This is just school to the students and it's an everyday normal thing, but this is like a dream for me," said Aerographers Mate Airman Justin Bruno. "It was amazing to just be able to sit in the classroom and talk to [the students]."
The staff also became acquainted with the Sailors and expressed their gratitude for the new learning opportunity they provided.
"Every time a ship pulls in we just jump at the opportunity to have you all come and visit the students," said Jacquie Zervos, head of BGS's Middle School. "You could never know how genuinely excited they are for this and how memorable this day will be for them."
The Sailors and students played intramural sports outside the classroom, including rugby and tennis in order to see how the students strengthen their bodies as well as their minds.
"They're very smart, very active and very entertaining. We had a great time and it's just been a wonderful experience," said Fire Controlman 2nd Class Louis Blasini, from San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Before leaving, the Sailors were presented with ball caps and pins of the school's insignia, and the staff received a portrait of the ship signed by Commanding Officer Capt. Greg Fenton.
George Washington and its embarked air wing, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5, provide a combat-ready force that protects and defends the collective maritime interest of the U.S. and its allies and partners in the Asia-Pacific region.
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For more news from USS George Washington (CVN 73), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn73/.