USS Hopper (DDG 70)
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Hopper Helps Local School During Thailand Visit
By Ensign Jessica L. Fitzgerald, USS Hopper Public Affairs
Story Number: NNS100406-04

PHUKET, Thailand (NNS) -- The guided-missile destroyer USS Hopper (DDG 70) conducted a community service project at the Baan Para School in Phuket, Thailand during their visit March 31 to April 2.

Eighteen volunteers from the ship participated in repainting Baan Para School in Phuket, which provides education to 250 Thai primary students. Sailors worked side-by-side with the school's parents, teachers and students to restore the building.

"They did a great job. The school's director was delighted," said Alasdair Forbes, board member for the Phuket Community Foundation. "They seemed to have fun and the kids and parents were delighted to meet them."

After the project, students showed their appreciation by putting on a Thai dance. The school also provided a traditional lunch for the Sailors.

"It is great to have Navy Sailors pull into Phuket because each ship is more than willing to help Thailand out in some type of community project," said Brad Kenny, a Patong Rotary Club member who helped organize the activities. "I would like to personally thank all of the participants for their hard work; they truly made a difference and were great ambassadors of the United States."

Community participants included the Patong Rotary Club, Phuket Community Foundation, and Phuket Navy League. Glen Defense Marine Group donated light blue paint as well as new filters for the schools' water source.

Community service projects are a long standing tradition in the U.S. Navy and are performed to help others in need and build relations in ports of call. "Interacting with other cultures and giving back is my favorite part of this job. Today was a great opportunity to do both," said Ensign Tyler Lloyd, Hopper's electrical officer.
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