Blue Ridge Sailors make friends, cradles at Manila charity
MANILA, Republic of the Philippines (Feb. 14, 2011) - Information Systems Technician 3rd Class Matthew Rozeboom, assigned to the 7th Fleet command ship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19), cuts wood to make furniture for children with a Republic of the Philippines Navy seabee at the Hospicio De San Jose in Manila. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Brian A. Stone)
Blue Ridge Sailors Make Friends, Cradles at Manila Charity
MANILA, Republic of the Philippines – Sailors assigned to 7th Fleet command ship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) and Republic of the Philippines navy seabees volunteered at the Philippines’ oldest welfare institution, the Hospicio de San Jose Feb. 15 during a combined community service event.

Sailors built 12 desks, six cribs and two full clothes dressers for residents of Hospicio de San Jose during the coordinated effort. Many Sailors expressed gratitude for being able to serve the community of Manila.

“I like helping people,” said Ship’s Serviceman 3rd Class Louis Gonzales. “You wouldn’t believe how great it is to show up and see people from all over showing their appreciation that we are here.”

Philippine navy seabees worked alongside the Blue Ridge Sailors to complete the construction project, lending expertise and tools to the effort.

“I feel very appreciative,” said Philippine navy Chief Petty Officer Pablo Bauit. “The navy seabees are happy to be here. We would work until midnight if you asked. We are so happy to work with the U.S. Navy.”

State Department officials assisted as well, bringing logistical support to the community service effort.

“It’s good for residents to see people from the U.S. and Philippines helping them out,” said Andrea Lindgren, a foreign service officer at the U.S. Embassy in Manila. “I spoke to a little girl who asked in Tagalog what we were doing, and I told her we were making a crib for her. If only everyone could see the smile on her little face.”

Staff members assisted in the project, working side by side with the Sailors.

“I’m very happy. It’s like the old times,” said Sister Maria Socorro Evidente, a nun at the orphanage. “I have so many memories with U.S. Navy Sailors visiting and helping us here. We feel so happy to have such ties.”

The Hospicio de San Jose is more than 200 years old and with more than 100 years of history with U.S. Navy volunteerism, with the earliest recorded volunteer event in 1910. The Hospicio is home to more than 400 orphans and dozens of elderly and mentally disabled persons.

During World War II, a number of American soldiers were interned at Hospicio de San Jose and cared for by the Sisters of Charity during the Japanese occupation, according to the official history of the Hospicio de San Jose.

Blue Ridge serves under Commander, Expeditionary Strike Group 7/Task Force (CTF) 76, the Navy's only forward deployed amphibious force. Blue Ridge is the command ship for Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet. CTF 76 is headquartered at White Beach Naval Facility, Okinawa, Japan, with an operating detachment in Sasebo, Japan.

US Navy Recruiting | US Navy | US Marine Corps | Navy Reserves | Individual Augmentee
No Fear Act | FOIA | | Veterans Crisis Line | Vote | DoD SafeHelpline
This is an official United States Navy Website. This US Government system is subject to monitoring. Please read our Privacy Policy and Section 508/Accessibility Statement.

The appearance of external hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by the United States Department of Defense, or the United States Department of the Navy of the linked web sites, or the information, products or services contained therein. For other than authorized activities such as military exchanges and Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) sites, the United States Department of Defense, the Department of the Navy  does not exercise any editorial control over the information you may find at these locations. Such links are provided consistent with the stated purpose of this DoD web site.