NEPLY, Haiti (NNS) -- Twenty-seven Sailors from amphibious dock landing ship USS Carter Hall (LSD 50) participated in a community relation (COMREL) project Jan. 22 for Haiti earthquake victims in support of Operation Unified Response.
The Sailors spent the day removing debris and setting up shelters for residents of Neply, Haiti, many of whom live in tents after the Jan. 12 earthquake destroyed much of their tiny village.
Carter Hall Commanding Officer Cmdr. George Doyon said that while the amphibious vessel is continuing to provide humanitarian relief and disaster response to the Caribbean nation, Sailors are also using their areas of expertise to assist Haitians.
"While we continue pushing heavy machinery and logistic support ashore, my Sailors are on the ground repairing houses, restoring potable water, generating electricity, distributing food rations and providing a helping hand to the Haitian people in need," said Doyon.
Carter Hall Chaplain Lt. Devon Foster said the COMREL project shows the true spirit of the Navy.
"This demonstrates that it is not just about the Navy's fighting power, but its also about helping, feeding, caring, providing, painting, gardening and loving," said Foster. "It does not matter what the task will be, our women and men are always willing and ready to do for others freely and joyfully."
Foster said that for many this is the opportunity of a lifetime. He said that as different organizations, nations and private citizens converge in Haiti, people are uniting to bring assistance and kindness to the Haitian people.
"I always wish we could do more. Rebuilding the community is about more than burying the dead, clearing the streets, putting up buildings and giving aid," said Foster. "Rebuilding the Haitian community is about people rising out of the destruction and constructing a brighter future for this generation and the next."
Carter Hall Sailors said they are proud to be part of the ongoing humanitarian efforts in Haiti. Witnessing both the tragedies and inspirational stories firsthand has left several Sailors with a sense of appreciation for things they might previously have taken for granted.
"Being able to personally help them out makes a difference," said Boatswain's Mate 3rd Class (SW) Virginia Moratalla. "Seeing those kids singing and smiling in the middle of adversity made me able to appreciate more of what I have."
USS Carter Hall (LSD 50), along with amphibious dock landing ships USS Fort McHenry (LSD 43), USS Gunston Hall (LSD 44) and amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5), is participating in Operation Unified Response, providing military support capabilities to civil authorities, stabilizing and improving the situation in Haiti in the wake of the 7.0 magnitude earthquake Jan. 12.
For more news from USS Carter Hall (LSD 50), visit www.navy.mil/local/lsd50/.