ECSG Sailors, Marines Participate in Athens Project Handclasp

Story Number: NNS120402-09Release Date: 4/2/2012 5:33:00 AM
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By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Britney Epps, Enterprise Carrier Strike Group Public Affairs

ATHENS, Greece (NNS) -- Enterprise Carrier Strike Group (ECSG) Sailors and Marines helped support the organization Doctors of the World, March 29, as part of the Navy's people-to-people program, "Project Handclasp."

Fifteen Sailors and Marines from aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65) and Lt. Eddy Logan, guided-missile cruiser USS Vicksburg's (CG 69) command chaplain, teamed up to help those in need and foster a positive community relationship.

The organization has been located in Athens for nearly 15 years and its original mission of supporting women and children quickly turned into helping less fortunate families, immigrants, refugees and local communities in need of food, shelter, and medical assistance.

"Greeks love Americans and this project creates a great image that can be seen as 'Simply amazing,'" said U.S. Embassy Cultural Affairs Assistant Dimitria Lucas.

Volunteers involved helped with sorting and packing pharmaceuticals. Social workers and the organization's director were thankful for the efforts of the participants, who packed more than 100 boxes and cleared space for future use.

"When out and off the ship, it feels good to be able to give back to a community other than my own," said Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Sarah Coleman, an Enterprise Sailor.

Vicksburg, a part of the ECSG, donated 1,500 medical items ranging from disposable adhesive bandages to cold wraps and other supplies necessary to maintain this non-profit organization.

This was the first visit to Athens by Enterprise in more than 49 years, and the second visit by the U.S. Navy since Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Cole (DDG 67) visited several years ago.

According to Enterprise volunteers, Sailors and Marines are always willing to help out, and in the end, it pays off and makes them want to do more whenever they are given the opportunity to do so.

"The pride and satisfaction you get from being able to make a difference is fantastic and rewarding," said Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Steven Dufresne, an Enterprise Sailor.

Doctors of the World asked for help from the Navy and Sailors and Marines came together so the mission could be accomplished.

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