News: NAF Misawa Sailors provide Easter For Japanese children
SHICHINOHE, Japan - Sailors attached to Naval Air Facility Misawa, and its tenant and deployed commands, visited the children of the Bikou-en Children’s Care Home to provide an Easter celebration, April 19, 2014.
Additionally, the Sailors also volunteered to help rejuvenate the facility following a long northern Japan winter. They raked leaves, removed trash, and repainted the children’s bicycle shed and treehouse.
“I helped paint the treehouse and rake up dead leaves,” said Machinist’s Mate 2nd Class Daniel Chavoya, originally from Tucson, Ariz., and assigned to Navy Munitions Command East Asia Division Unit Misawa. “It is nice to come out and do something for the kids to give them something to look forward to. It’s a good feeling.”
Later in the morning the Sailors conducted a Bingo game for the children, which allowed them to win prizes donated by the staff and management of the Misawa Air Base Exchange (BX) and Commissary.
“I was impressed with the kindness of the people from the Commissary and the BX,” said Chief Damage Controlman Alberto Rodriguez, a native of Bronx, N.Y. “The vendors provided contributions, as well as the staff members, who donated with their own money."
For most of the Sailors, this was their first time visiting Bikou-en, and the experience gave them an opportunity to reach out to the community and experience the culture.
“This is really fun. It is my first time in Japan, so getting out and seeing everything and experiencing the Japanese culture is great,” said Intelligence Specialist 3rd Class Raven Mallard, who hails from St. Petersburg, Fla. “Visiting the children and community follows along with one of our Navy's goals of trying to make our presence known in this region and show it in a positive way.”
After Bingo, the children headed outside to the freshly-cleared field for a cookout, where they were also able to see their newly renovated playground.
Following lunch, the Easter Bunny, played by Aviation Structural Mechanic 3rd Class Chavez Espinoza, originally from Grandview, Wash., and assigned to Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 132, made his grand appearance with a giant Easter egg filled with candy for the children. His arrival also heralded the start of the Easter egg hunt.
“During the hunt if the kids found a hard-boiled egg they received a big basket of candy and toys donated by the BX,” said Master-at-Arms Seaman Neah Haugdahl, a native of Eagan, Minn. “I think it’s really important that we are setting a good example in helping the community.”
“The event could not have been a success without the help of all our volunteers," said Rodriguez. "For some of them, this is their first tour, and participating in community related events like this one helps them understand the important impact the Navy can have in this world."
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Date Posted:04.22.2014 04:35
Location:SHICHINOHE, AOMORI, JP
Hometown:BRONX, NY, US
Hometown:EAGAN, MN, US
Hometown:GRANDVIEW, WA, US
Hometown:ST. PETERSBURG, FL, US
Hometown:TUCSON, AZ, US