Cowpens sailors volunteer at Guam School

by JoAnna R.C. Delfin, Joint Region Marianas Public Affairs
U.S. Navy

AGAT, Guam -- Sailors from the forward-deployed guided-missile cruiser USS Cowpens (CG 63) participated in a community relations (COMREL) event at Marcial A. Sablan Elementary School in Agat while the ship was in port on Guam March 28.

Service members were treated to a Chamorro fiesta-style lunch before they tutored and mingled with students enrolled in the After School Programs In Recreation & Enrichment (ASPIRE) program.

“I personally feel like I learn a lot about wherever I go when I do the COMREL events and help volunteer,” said Information Systems Technician 3rd Class (SW) Justin Puckett. “I love seeing new stuff so this is always cool. I love food too, so trying local food is always a lot of fun.”

This was the ship’s second community relations project on island in less than a year. In December 2013, Cowpens Sailors volunteered at the same school to discuss their careers and experiences with students.

Information Systems Technician 2nd Class (SW/IDW) Edward Losongco said the visits were personal for him because he grew up on Guam before moving off-island as a child. “It's really good being here,” he said. “Anytime you get to come back to your hometown is always fun.”

School counselor Marie Balbin thanked the Sailors for their willingness to lend a helping hand at the school and said these partnerships strengthen the relationships between the Navy and Guam communities.

“It's something I feel just the military coming out and sharing their skills and all the things that they do for the United States as a whole is really something good to help our students learn more about,” she said. “I think it's very nice and I think it's important that they continue to link with us. The community as well is very grateful for them and all that they do.”

For more information, contact the Joint Region Marianas Public Affairs Office at (671) 349-4055/3209.

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