By JESSE LEON GUERRERO
Joint Region Marianas Public Affairs
AGAT, Guam—Forward-deployed sailors from the destroyer USS Higgins volunteered their time to talk with and mentor Guam public school students at Oceanview Middle School in Agat, Guam, on Sept. 16.
The eight sailors interacted with more than 100 students discussing topics such as Navy training, deployments, ship duties, and other related areas.
“We’re helping communities. We’re helping countries,” said Electrician’s Mate 2nd Class James Hartley. “We’re helping to protect small vessels that are out there. It’s not just about us. It’s about everyone and keeping the ship safe, keeping the ocean safe.”
Hartley said he tries to volunteer as often as he can because he can meet new people, learn new cultures, and show the Navy is here to give their support to the local community.
“It’s a great way to help out the kids and get our names out so people know we’re here to help,” he said. “We’re not just out on a ship. We’re trying to help everybody.”
Schoolteacher Neil Pendon said he appreciated having the military at the school, helping him with his class for the day and added that the show of Navy participation in the community is reciprocation of how the community supports the military.
“I like how they come out and spend time here, even though they don’t have to,” he said. “With a lot of the military, they show their support by going to the schools and doing these things for the students. So it’s just like how we show our support for the United States.”
The sailors also spent time with the students during their lunch break and took part in physical education classes, showing them some of the exercises required in their physical training.
Operations Specialist 1st Class Adam Richards shared his stories with students about serving the nation by helping to keep his ship running smoothly and explained how the ship’s sailors train and study in a variety of ways.