San Diego Sailors, Families Clean Up Streets
By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Carlos M. Vazquez II, Navy Public Affairs Support Element West San Diego
SAN DIEGO - More than 300 Sailors and Navy family members walked down streets to collect trash surrounding Naval Base San Diego Nov. 17 during the "Main Street Clean Up" event.

During the event, volunteers from various commands and ships took to the streets to enhance the appearance of the community surrounding the base and to maintain neighborly relations.

"We clean the streets and alleys around the base and try to take care of our environment and neighbors," said Operations Specialist 1st Class Nestor Martinez, Main Street Clean Up event coordinator.

The project started 12 years ago. This year, 17 commands participated in the clean up event.

"Every year we grow with volunteers and people are starting to see how important it is to take care of our environment and community," said Martinez.

A team of 75 Sailors from Naval Medical Center San Diego volunteered to pick up stray litter at Balboa Park to expand the cleaning efforts to other neighboring areas in San Diego.

Neighbors of the naval bases have noticed the efforts and have expressed their appreciation.

"We were picking up trash near the trolley track and the operator went on the loudspeaker thanking us," said Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) 2nd Class Samuel Taylor, assigned to the amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2).

Taylor, an Oakland, Calif. native, said it is a great opportunity to both give back to his home state and to clean up around areas where he comes to work and serve his country each day.

"This is our calling, to get out there and help with our community and show our representation of the U.S. Navy," said Taylor.

Sailors hoped to foster goodwill, teamwork and understanding among neighboring residents and businesses, while also spreading the spirit of cleaning further than the surrounding area.

"Everyone can do their part, not just on this day, but every day to take care of our environment and to have a better place for our kids and the future," said Martinez.

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