SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (NNS) -- Sailors from the Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) and non-governmental organization (NGO) volunteers visited the San Diego Padres Dominican Republic (DR) Major League Baseball Academy and Escuela Primaria La Playa, Aug. 20.
Sailors, NGOs, Padres staff, and players from the academy worked together to teach children fundamental baseball skills, conduct beautification efforts, and donate school supplies to students at Escuela Primaria La Playa, strengthening partnerships with the surrounding community.
"Part of our community program mission here is to help the kids of our surrounding area," said Jess Negrette, San Diego Padres administer of DR baseball operations. "It is just wonderful to have the Comfort out here helping us make a difference in these children's lives. I truly think this is going to be an unforgettable experience for the kids."
Sailors and NGOs toured the facility and met with the players. The training portion of the day was followed by a baseball game, where Comfort volunteers played against the baseball players from the academy.
"Working with the baseball players and staff here to teach kids how to play baseball was the best part of my day," said Lt. j.g. Andrew Ritz, Medical Corps health care administrator. "I think coming together to work with the local community is a great way to build partnerships; especially when we have fun doing it."
At Escuela Primaria La Playa, Comfort personnel, alongside the baseball players, painted several stepping-stones, playground equipment and walkways. They also donated book bags to the students at the school.
"It is very important to come together with people to serve different communities, to build relationships, and learn about different cultures through service," said Lt. Benjamin Shear, a Navy chaplain aboard Comfort.
Continuing Promise is a U.S. Southern Command-sponsored and U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet-conducted deployment to conduct civil-military operations including humanitarian-civil assistance, subject matter expert exchanges, medical, dental, veterinary and engineering support, and disaster response to partner nations, and to show U.S. support and commitment to Central and South America and the Caribbean.
For more news from Continuing Promise, visit www.navy.mil/local/cp/