29 August 2005

Boxer Sailors Reach Out to Marshall Islands Children

I just can't help myself. Every day I see that Cindy skank and get pissed off because no one is talking about all the good that our service men and women are doing ALL ACROSS THE GLOBE. Did you see that Cindy? ALL ACROSS THE FREAKING GLOBE!

She did it to me again.

Anyhoo, the good folks aboard USS Boxer -- no relation to the Senator from my home state -- took it upon themselves to help those in need in the Marshall Islands. PACOM reports:

MAJURO, Republic of the Marshall Islands -- Children of Marshall Islands received a special treat Aug. 26 when USS Boxer (LHD 4) Sailors, decked out in their summer whites, stopped by to read to them during Boxer’s visit to Majuro, the capital of the Republic of the Marshall Islands.

Sailors read to the children as part of the Marshall Islands’ First Lady’s “Learn to Read by Reading Out Loud” program. Along with reading stories, Sailors passed out treats, stickers, played games and took time to talk to the children.

“I really appreciate how these Sailors are helping our children,” said Jabwill Ned, vice principal of Rita Elementary School. “It is very difficult to get English teachers to come to Majuro, so any exposure to the English language helps our students further their education.”

Boxer Sailors also gained from the experience. Many Sailors felt privileged to lend a helping hand.

“I wanted to do what I could to make a difference,” said Damage Controlman Fireman Griselda B. Bonilla, of Los Angeles. “The Marshall Islands are very secluded. It’s great that we can expose the children to something they may have never experienced before.”

Bonilla said the visit was a great experience for both the Sailors and the schoolchildren. While the children enjoyed the readings by the “Golden Gator” crew members, the Sailors walked away with a sense of pride and accomplishment.

“This was beneficial for all involved,” said Cmdr. Robert D. Delis, of Oceanside, Calif., who is one of Boxer’s two command chaplains. “We were able to not only provide a little joy, but also emphasize that no matter what the situation around you is, education is very important.”

In addition to reading to students during Boxer’s visit to Majuro, Sailors and Marines provided medical and dental support, repaired dilapidated schoolrooms and buildings and gained firsthand experience of the Marshallese culture.

Boxer is scheduled to return to its homeport of San Diego in September.

You may recall from a previous STARBOARD!!! post that more than 30 sailors from Boxer assisted a local Malaysian school by applying a much need coat of paint.

I truly enjoy posting information such as this.

Marshallian thanks to the Mudville Gazette for the Open Post opportunity.

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