– Playing an active role in the community is an important responsibility, especially for forward deployed commands. Sailors from the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Lassen (DDG 82) take that responsibility to heart in their sponsorship of Yokosuka Middle School’s 8th grade class.
Classes at Yokosuka Middle School are divided up in to teams. Each team is named after and sponsored by a different ship on the waterfront. The Lassen team consists of approximately 100 8th grade students.
This year, Lassen Sailors have ramped up their sponsorship by participating in several projects with Team Lassen students. While visiting the school, Sailors gave a presentation about life in the Navy, their jobs on board Lassen, and the value of education in today’s Uniformed Services.
“Team Lassen couldn’t host a better group of kids,” said Damage Controlman Fireman Rachel Hohenegger. “This is a fun program that reinforces a strong education and I am proud we participate.”
At the Annual Yokosuka Middle School Parent Teacher Organization Potluck Dinner, Sailors joined with students to create and present a display board project that highlighted Japanese culture and the art of Origami. Team Lassen’s display was the most visited of the event, earning the students a special class party.
A few days later, Sailors led Team Lassen students on a ship tour, giving them a first hand glimpse in to the daily life of a U.S. Navy Sailor.
“I am proud of the level of involvement our Sailors have committed to these students,” said Command Master Chief Jason Haka. “Although most students have a parent in the military, it is a rare opportunity when they get to come see where they work.”
Lassen Sailors take pride in continuing their sponsorship of Team Lassen students. The next project incorporates job skills for the 21st Century in an essay contest. Winners will receive a cash prize, ship tour, meet Lassen’s commanding officer, and have their essays displayed on board the ship.
Lassen is assigned to Destroyer Squadron Fifteen (DESRON 15) and is forward deployed to Yokosuka, Japan.