PORTLAND, Ore. - Sailors assigned to guided-missile frigate USS Ingraham (FFG 61) visited Shriners' Hospital for Children in Portland, Ore., June 10, 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 who can't leave to attend the festival.
Susan Gallegos, child life specialist at Shriners, said it was important to visit children at the hospital to let them know the Navy cares about them.
"Oh, they love it. We all do, it's not just the patients, it's the staff too," said Gallegos. "It really does make it nice, knowing that [the Sailors] come in every time and take their time off the ship and spend it with the kids."
Sailors were divided into groups and moved through the hospital to hand out ball caps from various commands. They were also able to talk to children and posed with them for souvenir pictures and even watched a magic show put on by one of the patients.
"They are great; they are cheering up," said Ens. Jorge Fuentes, Ingraham's fire control officer. "Their parents are telling us it's the happiest they have ever been in the hospital."
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'm grateful that we can cheer them up even in their pain," Fuentes said.
Ingraham Sailors also visited the Veterans Administration Hospital and Sailors from the Canadian navy visited Doernbecher Children's Hospital.