SAN DIEGO – Sailors assigned to the guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain (CG 57) took time to help and spend time with residents of the Chula Vista Veterans Home on Nov. 20.
Fire Controlman 1st Class (SW) Aaron Bayot, Sonar Technician 2nd Class (SW) Alphonso Simmons, Fire Controlman 2nd Class Jose Salazar, Fire Controlman 2nd Class Jose Timothy Vickrey, Culinary Specialist 3rd Class (SW) Francisco Picos, and Chaplain Shaun Kennedy from Lake Champlain carried meal trays, worked in the kitchen, and helped clean up after dinner.
“I would recommend this for anyone,” said Simmons. “It was very rewarding to help these veterans.”
The Sailors spent a lot of time sharing sea stories with the residents and they also assisted with leading a bingo game. The Lake Champlain Sailors also brought a box of donations to share with the residents. Among the donations were blankets, which turned out to be the favorite item of the night. Picos said, “I enjoyed being here to help out. It is wonderful.”
Vickrey said, “Only in a place like this could you meet a guy that used to work on ICBMs (Intercontinental ballistic missiles).”
“It was fun to help serve the meal,” Salazar stated, “but what was more fun was hearing their life experiences.”