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 and Enrichment 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."