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Friday, April 25, 2014

McCampbell sailors share experiences, laughs with Saipan middle school

By CHRIS CAVAGNARO
Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class

SAIPAN, Northern Mariana Islands—Sailors aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS McCampbell conducted a community service project at the Adm. Herbert G. Hopwood Jr. High School during a port visit to Saipan on Jan. 24.

COMSERVs provide sailors the opportunity to give back to local communities and to learn about the host nation’s culture on a personal level.

“I really enjoyed visiting the school and talking with the children,” said Chief Gas Turbine Systems Technician (Electrical) Nelson Mamotos, a COMSERV coordinator aboard McCampbell. “It’s always rewarding when you participate in an event like this and see the impact you can have by simply taking time out of your day to meet with the local community.”

Sailors spent the day speaking with students and faculty, telling stories and sharing experiences about life in the U.S. Navy.

“It means a lot to the staff and students for sailors to come down to our school and share with us what it’s like to be in the Navy,” said Jacklyn Echon, a social studies teacher at the school. “The students were very excited to hear about this trip and it definitely brightened up their day.”

Sailors were given drawings by the students to show their appreciation for the visit.

“The highlight of the day was seeing how happy the children were to have us here,” said Mamotos. “They asked some good questions, and the cartoon drawings they gave us were a nice touch. It was a really great experience.”

McCampbell is on patrol in the 7th Fleet area of operations supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

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