YOKOSUKA, Japan -
Sailors from the USS Shiloh (CG 67) Coalition of Sailors Against Destructive Decisions (CSADD) Chapter volunteered their time with students at the Fleet Activities Yokosuka (CFAY) middle school Oct. 26.
During their time at the school the 16 Sailors ate lunch, participated in outdoor activities and held question and answer sessions with the students. This was the second time for the Sailors to visit the school and they all agreed their visit was time well spent.
“Coming over here today has been great,” said Logistics Specialist 2nd Class John Hobbs of Atlanta. “I think this is a good way to show our support for the community and also to have the one on one interaction with the kids. Many of the children's parents are in the Navy and can spend a considerable amount of time at sea. I think with us visiting the school we can talk with children and answer any questions they may have about what life is like at sea, life as a young Sailor, or just be there for them as a friend to talk to.”
Gretchen Zaldana, a 7th grade science teacher at the middle school, praised the Shiloh Sailors for using their personal time to spend time with the children.
“The Shiloh Sailors are awesome,” she said. “The children love the interaction with the Sailors who are very open and vocal with them; the Sailors are indeed positive role models and seem to look forward to their visit here as much as the students. I think the Sailors presence at the school helps not only the students, but faculty and staff as well because it further connects us creating more understanding and a stronger CFAY community.”
Along with a continued relationship with the middle school, future volunteer endeavors for Shiloh's CSADD Chapter include a holiday toy drive for children at a local orphanage and cleanup projects promoting eco-friendly habits and maintaining the integrity of CFAY.
CSADD is a Navy-wide program with the mission to provide military members of all branches with the best prevention and intervention tools possible to deal with destructive decisions, while maintaining good order and discipline.
Since the chapter was formed on board Shiloh, Information Systems Technician 1st Class Damian Washington, a Fort Washington native and mentor for Shiloh's CSADD Chapter said the ship's chapter has taken off with lightning speed.
CSADD has had a tremendous and positive impact on Shiloh,” he said “When we post our sign up sheets for people to volunteer it is always full. I am very happy to see our Sailors turning towards positives alternatives and contributing to the CFAY community.”