Hawaii - Sailors from USS MICHAEL MURPHY (DDG 112) have given back to their Hawaiian homeport in a variety of ways, performing restoration at a veteran’s cemetery, feeding the homeless and helping with local youth sports.
The Sailors spent Memorial Day at Oahu Cemetery in downtown Honolulu landscaping a military plot owned by the Navy since 1935. The cemetery has grave markers from the 1800's with the most recent interment in 2002.
The MICHAEL MURPHY’s next community relations project was at River of Life, a homeless shelter located in the Chinatown area of Honolulu. The Sailors served visitors plated food at the shelter on June 4. It was the third visit to River of Life by the MICHAEL MURPHY crew.
Members of the MICHAEL MURPHY crew are also participating in an ongoing youth basketball program at the Filipino United Church of Christ located in Waipahu. Events are being held each weekend this summer at the church for elementary to high school students. The Sailors have helped teach clinics and referee games.
Operations Specialist 1st Class Riunite Izquierdo coordinates community service projects for the MICHAEL MURPHY. She said reaching out to Hawaiian communities is important for the MICHAEL MURPHY, a newly commissioned destroyer homeported at Pearl Harbor since November.
“We are very proud to call Pearl Harbor our homeport and we want to be strong partners with the communities on the island,” Izquierdo said. “Performing community service not only gives back to residents of Oahu, but it really enriches the experiences for Sailors stationed at Pearl Harbor. We really get as much out of doing these projects as those we are working to help.”
Culinary Specialist 2nd Class Cortney Lewis agreed. He helped straighten headstones at Oahu Cemetery on Memorial Day and is a regular contributor to the basketball clinics.
“Being a Sailor is about service, both to your country and your community,” Lewis said. “The residents of Oahu have done so much for us, welcoming us to the island and making this our home. It’s always an honor to go into the communities as a command, representing the MICHAEL MURPHY, and work side-by-side with our neighbors.”