BALTIMORE (NNS) -- More than 75 service members from the Navy and Marine Corps, along with military members from Germany, Turkey and Canada, participated in community outreach events Sept. 12 as part of their visit to the city for the Star-Spangled Spectacular.
The service members were on hand to help clean up the area surrounding the National Blacks in Wax Museum and lend a hand at the Habitat for Humanity's ReStore center.
"We were able to come out and do this and it feels fantastic to give back," said Cmdr. Jeffrey Patterson, commanding officer, USS Maryland (SSBN 738).
Patterson worked alongside a small group of Sailors from his command painting and performing minor landscaping for Habitat's ReStore center, a nonprofit home improvement store and donation center that sells new and gently used furniture, home accessories, building materials, and appliances to the public at a fraction of the retail price.
"We have gotten a lot of support over the years from Maryland, but from Baltimore specifically. We wanted a project that not only would be good for us, but also for the community," Patterson added.
A larger group of Sailors and Marines from USS Oak Hill (LSD 51) and USS Leyte Gulf (CG 55) along with visiting foreign service members assisted in cleaning up the community surrounding the National Blacks in Wax Museum.
"I think we chose a project that benefits a little bit of everyone, not only the community, but the individuals helping as well," said Chief Petty Officer 2nd Class, Canadian navy. "I've been in the navy for 28 years now and it's been instilled in my personal values to give back to the community.
Service members laughed and joked throughout the event and showed a real spirit of camaraderie with their foreign counter parts. At the core, the mission for all the members was to lend a helping hand to the community.
"It feels good to come out and make a difference," said Chief Cryptologic Technician - Maintenance Jason Patterson. "These types of things have become something I love doing simply because it makes a real difference."
The Star-Spangled Spectacular runs from September 10-16, 2014 and celebrates the bicentennial of the Battle of Baltimore which provided the backdrop of Francis Scott Key's famous poem, "The Defence of Fort McHenry," which later became America's national anthem. Along with more than 30 ships from the U.S. and foreign nations, the U.S. Navy's Blue Angels will be on display and accessible to the public.
To learn more about Baltimore Navy Week, visit www.navy.mil and to learn more about the Star Spangled Spectacular, visit http:// www.starspangled200.com.