HAGATNA, Guam (NNS) -- Military members and volunteers from the Guam community helped pick up trash and other debris along Guam's coastline during the 20th Annual International Coastal Cleanup Sept. 20.
The International Coastal Cleanup is a movement that can be found in 92 countries and locations around the world. Guam has participated in the event for the past 20 years in order to contribute to the ecological health of the world's ocean.
"Since day one, the military, every branch, Air Force, Navy, Marine, Coast Guard, have participated and continue to participate," said Dave Duenas, who has helped organize the cleanup efforts for the past two decades. "Our military brothers and sisters have been a big factor in the success of this. We're very proud of that fact that they have joined us in our local community and help our island keep clean. "
Regional Command Master Chief (SW/AW/SS) David Graham, Joint Region Marianas (JRM), helped pick up trash at Paseo de Susana Park in Hagatna.
"If you live in the community, you need to be a part of the community and you need do the best for the community," he said. "We had people coming up to us and thanking us for being here, and in turn I feel that it is us who should say 'thank you' for allowing us to be here."
Throughout the year, military members participate in community relations events.
The coastal cleanup is the largest event that service members and the local community work together with the common goal to preserve the island and its surrounding waters.
"Just to get out in the public and let everyone know that we're here to help them," said Lt. j.g. Justin Giorlando, Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 133. "We want to be here and be part of who you are."
Giorlando and others from his command who came out to volunteer spoke about how they enjoy helping out and being a part of the local community.
"We're trying to do our part while we're here and to give back to the community," said Equipment Operator 1st Class (SCW) Steven Peeler, NMCB 133. "It shows the community that we're not here just as a military aspect but also as part of the actual community."
For other Sailors, the cleanup effort provided an opportunity to spend the day at Guam's beaches.
"This will be my third time helping with the coastal cleanup," said Operations Specialist 2nd Class (SW/AW) Magnolia Dun, who is the command volunteer coordinator for JRM. "I enjoy it very much, because I love going to the beaches. I do this to keep beaches clean and beautiful and make it safe for everyone. It is rewarding to give back to the island for what they have given us, the military personnel. "
Doug Bowling, who is Guam High School's Navy Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps commander, said he promotes community service with his students.
"It's great that the kids get out in the community and they earn a ribbon for community service," he said. "This is the first community service project that we have done this year. We had about 65 students come out and they enjoyed it. They did a lot of good with the community and they helped out the National Park Service."
For more news from U.S. Naval Forces, Marianas, visit www.navy.mil/local/guam/.