Team Tender Sailors give back to veterans
PITI, Guam – Sailors assigned to the submarine tenders USS Frank Cable (AS 40), and USS Emory S. Land (AS 39), spent part of their off-duty time volunteering with Green Valor at the Guam Veterans Cemetery in Piti, Aug. 11.
Green Valor is a local non-profit organization that works to empower and improve the quality of life of every U.S. veteran in Guam.
The Sailors teamed up with other volunteers to maintain landscaping, power wash buildings and perform a general clean-up around the cemetery.
“There were groups and organizations from all over the island working cohesively towards one goal,” said Navy Counselor 1st Class Joseph Ellison, a volunteer assigned to Frank Cable. “The job was big, and there were a lot of tasks, but they were all accomplished.”
Ellison believes giving back to the local community is beneficial to everyone, and that even the littlest things can have a lasting impact.
“We are all part of a community and I believe we each have a degree of responsibility to the community,” said Ellison. “It could be picking up trash, trimming hedges, or helping a neighbor with homework; the simplest things can contribute to a positive effect. Why not dedicate time to something positive?”
Ellison says he feels grateful and fortunate to be able to take part in the Guam Veterans Cemetery clean up.
“On one hand, we honored the final resting place for veterans,” said Ellison. “On the other, we honored the family members who come to visit and remember their loved ones. It was very rewarding.”
Gunner’s Mate 1st Class Juan Amat, a volunteer assigned to Emory S. Land, says setting aside part of his weekend to do something meaningful and productive is more gratifying than other things he would be doing in his time off.
“I would be sleeping, but instead of sleeping in, I can be doing this,” said Amat. “It’s giving back to the community while giving me a sense of accomplishment at the end of the week. It’s only a few hours a week, so why not? It’s a win-win for everyone.”
Amy Jackson, one of the event coordinators, served four years on Frank Cable and says volunteering was one of the highlights of her time on the ship.
“I love the Cable,” said Jackson, a member of the Student Veterans Organization at the University of Guam. “One of my favorite things about the Frank Cable is all of the community relations events we did.”
Ellison believes it’s important for Sailors to take part in community service events whenever they can.
“People strive ‘to matter’,” said Ellison. “Being productive, creating, contributing and making a difference - all of this is accomplished when you volunteer. In the words of Gandhi, ‘The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others’.”
Frank Cable, forward deployed to Guam, repairs, rearms and reprovisions deployed U.S. Naval Forces in the Indo-Pacific region.
For more information on Frank Cable, find us on Facebook at USS Frank Cable (AS 40), or http://www.csp.navy.mil/frankcable.
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