LAEM CHABANG, Thailand - Sailors assigned to the forward-deployed amphibious dock landing ship USS Germantown (LSD 42) participated in a community service (COMSERV) project at a local school Feb. 23 during a port visit to Laem Chabang.
Twenty Sailors visited Ban Ronghip School to interact with local children and deliver school supplies and sporting goods such as soccer balls, volleyballs, and badminton equipment.
Germantown Chaplain Lt. j.g. Robert Hecox said the project was a great way for Sailors to lend a helping hand, meet locals, and experience the culture.
“In a big way, our COMSERV helped communicate to the Thai people of this area our commitment to their recovery after the flooding that happened last year,” said Hecox. “7th Fleet had committed that we would be back to give help and give resources, and this is just one element of keeping that promise.”
The Sailors who participated in the event read books, played soccer, volleyball, and played singing games like “Ring Around the Rosie” and “London Bridge is Falling Down.”
The Thai children and the Sailors equally shared the enjoyment of the visit. Quartermaster Seaman Aldannuvia Domiguez said she would absolutely participate in another community service project.
“My personal experience at the COMSERV was just breathtaking,” said Dominguez, “I absolutely loved it.”
Dominguez worked at a children’s hospital before joining the Navy and the COMSERV reminded her of being home. “To be able to bring joy to somebody just makes me feel really good,” said Dominguez, “and when you do it purely and from the heart, they see it ten times more.”
Germantown, with embarked elements of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, is currently underway after participating in exercise Cobra Gold 2012, an annual Thai-U.S. co-sponsored joint and multinational exercise designed to advance security throughout the Asia-Pacific region and enhance interoperability with participating nations.
Germantown, commanded by Cdr. Carol McKenzie, was commissioned Feb. 8, 1986 and is capable of carrying more than 721 Sailors and Marines.