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U.S. Navy Sailors Visit Portland Children's Hospital
PORTLAND, Ore. (NNS) -- Sailors assigned to USS Sampson (DDG 102) and the guided-missile cruiser USS Bunker Hill (CG 52) visited the Doernbecher Children's Hospital June 4, continuing a tradition that Sailors have carried out each year during the Portland Rose Festival.

Service members visited the hospital to bring a part of Rose Festival to the children as part of the Navy's community relations project.

Ship's Serviceman 1st Class (SW) Michael Davis, assigned to USS Sampson (DDG 102) said it was important to visit children at the hospital to let them know the Navy cares about them.

"I want to let the children know they are not alone in their struggles and not only their families care, but the Sailors and our ship cares about them," said Davis. "It's great to be able to brighten up their day."

Sailors were divided into teams and moved through the hospital to distribute teddy bears, ball caps, shirts and keepsakes from the ships. They were also able to talk to children and posed with them for souvenir pictures.

"This is my first port visit, and I think the more you help others the more you help yourself," said Boatswain's Mate Seaman Trae Blount, USS Sampson (DDG 102). "It is great to be able to brighten a kid's day just by visiting and talking to the patients makes a big difference."

The hospital provides specialized care for children under the age of 18 and is funded by the Shriners Hospital for Children endowment fund, which is maintained through gifts, bequests and contributions.

"I love being able to do something for the community, and I love children," said Boatswain's Mate Seaman Katrina Fosi, USS Sampson (DDG 102).

Shriners Hospitals for Children is a one-of-a-kind international health care system dedicated to improving the lives of children by providing specialty pediatric care, innovative research and outstanding teaching.
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