SASEBO, Japan – The officers and crew of USS Germantown (LSD 42) organized and conducted a successful beach cleanup in order to give back to the local community, March 21.
More than 80 sailors volunteered their Saturday morning to help cleanup Shirahama Beach. The event aimed to improve community relations and demonstrated that the crew of Germantown desires to be an active participant in bettering the local community.
“It was a great turnout,” said Quartermaster 2nd Class Melvin Noble, one of the many enthusiastic volunteers. “It gave us the great opportunity to further the relationship between the Japanese nationals and the U.S. Navy. It also gave us a chance to show many of our junior Sailors how absolutely beautiful this beach and the country of Japan really is.”
The event was fully supported and endorsed by the command. Free drinks and snacks were donated by the ship and Sailors were encouraged to participate in the days leading up to the event.
“With a demanding work schedule on the ship, it can sometimes be difficult to be an active part of the community,” said Gunner’s Mate Seaman Timothy Farris. “Command sponsored events make it easier.”
Not only did the event succeed at improving community relations, but it also strengthened the working relationships between shipmates who volunteered.
“It was a great event and morale was extremely high,” said Lt. Andrew Hayler, the command’s chaplain and one of the event organizers. “It was fun, the weather was beautiful, and it was extremely motivating to see all of the volunteers working together as a team.”
“I’ve always wanted to help my fellow man,” said Farris. “I hope the command does more of these events. The feeling of coming together to help others; there is nothing like it.”
With this level of enthusiasm towards community service projects and the crew’s desire to further integrate into the local community, the command is very eager to continue these events in the future. The next event is going to be a cleanup of Nimitz Park to commemorate Earth Day.
“I am absolutely sold on these projects,” added Noble. “Everything we do in the Navy is bigger than us. We are ambassadors everywhere we go and this is a great way to show we are here to help.”