Ashland Sailors and Marines Volunteer at Guam Elementary School

Story Number: NNS150807-05Release Date: 8/7/2015 9:11:00 AM
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By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class David A. Cox, Commander, Amphibious Squadron 11 Public Affairs

DEDEDO, Guam (NNS) -- Sailors and Marines from the forward-deployed amphibious dock landing ship USS Ashland (LSD 48) participated in a community service event at Juan M. Guerrero Elementary School in the Village of Dededo Aug. 5.

This was the second community service event during the four-day visit to Guam and involved service members painting the building, sidewalks and curbs at the local elementary school in preparation for the 750 students who will be returning after the summer break.

"The project that we're engaged in today is a combined effort of both the Sailors and the Marines from the USS Ashland," said Lt. Merlin Stephan, command chaplain, "We'll be getting the school grounds and interior ready for the 2015-2016 school year, applying paint to some much needed areas and a little bit of grounds cleaning."

Approximately 29 Sailors and Marines attended the event. Marites Garcia, the assistant principal for Juan M. Guerrero Elementary School, said as soon as she needed help the Ashland was quick to respond.

"The teachers are here as well to help out, so it is a really great team we have here today," said Garcia.
Garcia said the willingness of the service members to lend a helping hand at the school shows the great strength between the Navy and Marines relationship with the Guam community.

"It's something that I think is going to impact the view of the local people of Guam and also the U.S. Military, because they will know that they can work in partnership with the community," said Garcia. "On behalf of the principal, the faculty and especially the students, we appreciate everything you guys have done for us today even if it's just for one day. We love the camaraderie we've built with the U.S. Military."

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