Truman Sailors Give Back to Hampton Roads Community

Story Number: NNS120830-05Release Date: 8/30/2012 3:11:00 AM
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By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Taylor DiMartino, USS Harry S. Truman Public Affairs

NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- Sailors assigned to the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) worked diligently to the tune of a chain saw as they deconstructed an old foot bridge, plank by plank, over wetlands in Norfolk's Northside Park, Aug. 28.

The bridge deconstruction was one of nine different Hampton Roads community service projects conducted as a part of the ship's community service day. Other projects included cleaning and restoring monuments in a historic Norfolk cemetery, and performing general maintenance, renovations and grounds keeping at schools, shelters, botanical gardens, a local mission and a children's playroom.

"The Navy always prides itself on being a 'global force for good'," said Lt. Aaron Kleinman, a chaplain on Truman, who coordinated the community service projects. "Those events were great opportunities to show the local community that we are also a local force for good. [The Tidewater area] has a long history with the Navy and it's important to make sure it stays a positive history."

Chief Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) (AW/SW) Jeffery Richardson, assigned to Truman's V-1 division, who supervised the Northside Park project, said he was impressed with how hard each Sailor worked and understood each project's importance to the community.

"This project was a huge benefit to the community," said Richardson. "Normally, the city couldn't afford a demolition like this, especially in a wetlands area. It means a lot that we are able to bring our Sailors out and do this kind of work as a way of giving back to the community for their continuous support."

Kleinman agreed that every Sailor should take the time to get involved in volunteer projects.

"Doing events like [the bridge deconstruction] gets Sailors involved in the community and reminds them that they are still part of it," said Kleinman.

According to Kleinman, Truman Sailors have completed more than 120 community service projects and achieved more than 19,000 total community service hours in 2012.

"It's great to see our Sailors roll out in force," said Kleinman. "The amount of work they can get done with a little guidance is incredible."

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