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    Balikatan service members visit school, support children

    Balikatan service members visit school, support children

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Christopher McCullough | A child from a Vacation Bible School climbs on top of U.S. Navy Hospital Corpsman 2nd...... read more read more



    Story by Staff Sgt. Christopher McCullough 

    U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific

    CAMP AGUINALDO, Quezon City, Philippines – U.S. Sailors and Marines on hand for Exercise Balikatan 2017 visited children at a Vacation Bible School being held at the Camp Aguinaldo Evangelical Chapel in Quezon City, Philippines, as part of a community relations event, May 17, 2017.

    Visiting the school provided service members the chance to formulate a rapport with children, fostering the friendship between the U.S. and the Philippines.

    "The kids just love hanging on them, getting piggyback rides, and things of that nature.," said U.S. Navy Chaplain (Cmdr.) Wade A. Bailey, 3rd Marine Expeditionary Battalion. "It's just an instant bond. It's amazing. If you're having a bad hair day, or having a pity party, you come do something like this and you'll leave feeling like a million bucks. Most Marines and Sailors walk away from something like this feeling like they got more of a blessing than I was a blessing."

    Armed Forces of the Philippines Chaplain (Lt. Col.) George Pabalinas, assistant chaplain of headquarters service command, said these visits are a big contribution to the morale and welfare of the children in Quezon City.

    "This is the first time that we have this ministry for the kids – we call it Vacation Bible School," said Pabalinas. "Many of these kids come from outside the camp; they are less fortunate children. So we bring them inside [Camp Aguinaldo] for them to have fellowship, which the Marines are part of."

    U.S. Marine Sgt. Gamar Rosadosanceez said he was there because his family raised him in the church environment.

    Being a father really impacts his experience with Vacation Bible School.

    "I have two kids," said Rosadosanceez, "and seeing the smiles on the kids faces really makes my day, so that's why I do it."

    More importantly, he believes in being part of a community event that has such a positive impact on the children, regardless of their nationality.

    "What I've taken away from this is, no matter what country you're from, you will always have kids that want to be happy," explained Rosadosanceez. "Doing this as a service, and helping them be happy, shows me there's still goodness in the world and that makes it all worth it."

    Balikatan is an annual U.S.-Philippine bilateral military exercise focused on a variety of missions, including humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, counterterrorism, and other combined military operations.



    Date Taken: 05.17.2017
    Date Posted: 05.18.2017 23:12
    Story ID: 234401

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