SANTA RITA, Guam (NNS) -- Sailors from the U.S. Navy's forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS George Washington's (CVN 73) First Class Petty Officers Association (FCPOA) visited Guam's Central Lanes Bowling center to coach members of Special Olympics Guam's bowling team during a community service event in Santa Rita, Guam, Sept. 22.
The sounds of pins clattering together mixed with the excited cries and wild applause from the Sailors and athletes in the bowling center made for a special moment for those involved.
"We are very fortunate to be able to work with these children and those with special needs," said Lt. Cmdr. Young Song, a chaplain aboard George Washington. "The children appreciate the Sailors so much, and it shows how much our Sailors care for our special people."
George Washington's FCPOA worked closely with the Command Religious Ministries Department team to coordinate and execute the event.
"We all got together as a mess and wanted to do something to help out the community and lead from the front," said Intelligence Specialist 1st Class Xavier Harvey, from Houston. "It's an opportunity to put our best face forward and work within the local community."
"This was a great opportunity, and I always enjoy working with special-needs kids," said Aviation Maintenance Administrationman 1st Class Barreka Graves. "It's great watching them come back from a strike or spare; they're all smiles and you can tell they're having fun."
The two-hour session provided the athletes with vital practice for their upcoming tournament in October.
"Events like this allow our athletes to be involved at the local level," said Senior Chief Master-at-Arms Chiniece Lawson, from Jackson, Miss., a board member of Special Olympics Guam. "This is the first event in our Fall series, which also includes sports such as golf."
"Bowling is very popular on Guam, and the athletes are always asking, 'When is bowling?'," said Carole Pircy, an event coordinator for Special Olympics Guam. "It's a great event to get them all together and socializing."
The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier is currently conducting its 2012 patrol in the 7th Fleet area of operations, and recently completed the U.S.-joint exercise Valiant Shield 2012 in the Guam operating area.
George Washington and its embarked air wing, Carrier Air Wing 5, provide a combat-ready force that protects and defends the collective maritime interests of the U.S. and its partners and allies in the Asia-Pacific region.
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