SAN DIEGO – More than 200 Sailors and family members from USS Essex (LHD 2) assisted in community clean-up efforts May 11 at Naval Base San Diego.
The semi-annual event is open to all base commands and partners with community organizations from nearby National City. Essex, known as the “Iron Gator” dominated the event with attendance, turning out approximately one quarter of the nearly 1,000 Sailors assigned to the ship.
"This crew has always been a huge supporter of events like this that help the community,” said Essex Command Master Chief Gary Mendus. “It's great to see so many Essex Sailors out here creating a positive impact around the base."
The event centers around Main Street, the main road running along the perimeter of the naval base. The volunteers focused on picking up trash and removing debris from around the area.
“We always find the most interesting stuff on the side of the road,” said Personnel Specialist Seaman Ana Phoeuknhun. “Everything from cigarette butts and dead animals. It’s great we’re able to give back to the community this way.”
After the trash pick up, the event concludes with a cook out for all hands involved. The next Main Street cleanup is scheduled for later this year in the fall.