News: Truman sailors committed to community service
By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Leona Mynes
HAMPTON ROADS, Va. — Sailors assigned to the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) completed their second Community Service Day, March 13.
More than 800 sailors participated in a Community Service Day, which involved twelve community service projects in the Hampton Roads community.
For organizations like the Norfolk Botanical Garden, a nonprofit horticulture museum, sailor volunteer service is critical.
"Because of the physical capability and age of sailors, they do a lot of physically intensive projects," said Tom Houser, a senior gardener at Norfolk Botanical Garden. "Without their help, the projects would take much longer to get done."
Sailors removed weed overgrowth and organic debris from the children's park and surrounding trails, said Houser.
Two-thirds of Norfolk Botanical Garden's operation relies on community donations and volunteer service, said Brian O'Neil, Norfolk Botanical Garden's director of horticulture.
"It is always a huge help for a group of sailors to come out and take care of the larger projects," said O'Neil. "It really helps us when sailors give back to the communities. I think the private sector can take inspiration from that."
"It's so exciting that the Truman gives us the opportunity to serve the Hampton Roads community," said Operations Specialist Seaman Kelly O'Donnell, assigned to Truman's operations department. "Community service gives you a real feeling of accomplishment at the end of the day."
Sailors conducted community service at Norfolk Botanical Garden, For Kids Haven House, Mojo Thrift Shop, Union Mission, Azalea Little League Park, Nauticus, Samaritan House, Virginia Zoo in Norfolk, Habitat for Humanity, Norfolk Animal Shelter, Virginia Beach Parks and Recreation and I.C. Norcom High School in Portsmouth, Va.
"Community service helps us recharge as a team," said Air-Traffic Controller Airman Austin Hansen, assigned to Truman's air department.
"We can serve our community and go back to work knowing we've helped the community we live and work in."
Truman is undergoing a docking planned incremental availability at Norfolk Naval Shipyard.