ABOARD USS BONHOMME RICHARD, At Sea (NNS) -- Sailors and Marines in USS Bonhomme Richard's (BHR) (LHD 6) bake shop worked around the clock Jan. 8 to bake more than 4,000 servings of brownies and cornbread for the tsunami victims.
BHR's bake shop baked more than 22,000 cookies Jan. 6 for the ship's embarked helicopter crews to deliver to Indonesians in the hard hit Banda Aceh region.
"The bake-a-thon is yet another example of the compassionate spirit of our great Sailors and Marines," said Capt. J. Scott Jones, commanding officer of the San Diego-based amphibious assault ship.
The culinary specialists and Marine-equivalent food service specialists in the bake shop doubled their hours and work efforts to have the brownies and cornbread ready in time for delivery.
"Making the brownies is a lot easier than the cookies, but it is all worth it," said Culinary Specialist Seaman Maria Victoria Ballesil after she put the first batch of brownies in the oven.
The La Union, Philippines, native said it may be a lot of work, but helping the tsunami victims is the main goal.
"Since we can't go out there and help them out personally, it feels good to know we are doing something here to make them feel a little better," Ballesil said.
Culinary Specialist 1st Class Renato E. Dulce, from Cabite, Philippines, agrees.
"We all came together without hesitation. We worked as a team to get the job done because we know it will help the people," said Dulce, the bake shop supervisor. "We are willing to help however we can, even if it means working a little extra."
The ship's galley Leading Chief Petty Officer Chief Culinary Specialist (SW/AW) John A.V. Reyes said his culinary specialists are always ready to help.
"We know we are helping a country in great need," said Reyes. "We are in the area to help the victims of this disaster. Everyone is willing to help and contribute their best. There is a hero in all of them, the Sailors and Marines alike."
Bonhomme Richard is the flagship of Expeditionary Strike Group 5, operating off the coast of the Indonesian island of Sumatra in support of Operation Unified Assistance.
For related news on Navy tsunami relief operations, visit the Focus on Tsunami Relief Operations page at www.navy.mil/local/tsunami.
For related news, visit the USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/lhd6.