MANAMA, Bahrain (NNS) -- Sailors assigned to guided-missile cruiser USS Vicksburg (CG 69) volunteered for a community engagement event during a port visit to the Kingdom of Bahrain, May 23.
The engagement took place at the Regional Institute for Active Learning (RIA) center, a non-profit school that specializes in teaching children, ages three to 17, who have special needs.
"Our participation in this event has immeasurable benefits," said Lt. Edsil Logan, command chaplain aboard Vicksburg. "It gives our crew members an opportunity to familiarize themselves with the local community and their culture, while doing something beneficial for others."
As command chaplain, Logan is responsible for coordinating community engagement projects.
"Volunteer work not only has the possibility of causing a life-changing impact on the recipients, but creates a sense of personal success and growth within the Sailors who participate," said Logan.
For some Sailors, it was their first time experiencing this type of engagement.
"I was really able to connect with the kids and I think they taught me as much as I taught them," said Gas Turbine Systems Technician Specialist (Mechanical) Fireman Charles Holder.
During the event, Sailors tutored students in English and math, and also took part in a 'morning dance.'
"The dancing was uplifting and created an atmosphere that made it easy to bond with the kids," said Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Corey Wallace. "It was good to start the morning off participating in something with them."
Wallace was one of many Sailors who expressed an interest in participating in more projects.
"If contributing a few hours of my time can change a child's life, then it's worth it," said Wallace. "If given the opportunity to go back, I would be the first to volunteer."
Vicksburg is on its final deployment and is currently operating in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility conducting maritime security operations, theater security cooperation efforts and support missions as a part of Operation Enduring Freedom.
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