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    One Man’s Trash

    Amongst the echoing chatter of voices, the rattling jolt of aircraft landing overhead, and the constant stream of metal forks scraping on plastic plates, Sailors aboard the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) try their best guess at sorting their trash on the mess decks. One Sailor in particular found a way to take the mundane and turn it into something much more.

    “I was just drawing and then I see people, they don’t know what they’re doing,” said Airman Janjan Ocampo, 23-year-old food service attendant (FSA), temporarily assigned to Supply Department's S-2 Division. “They don’t read, so I thought I might as well put a letter or a word so they can read it and then see it.”

    Ocampo drew pictures to help show Sailors how to separate their trash along with other shipboard waste-disposal procedures. He developed his passion for art at a young age.

    “I think I was four or five years old,” said Ocampo, who was born in Ilocos Norte, Phillippines. “I was just drawing lines and I still remember my mom was like, ‘what is that my son? It looks nice.’ I got interested in art so they said just go for it.”

    Art soon became a catalyst in Ocampo’s life, revealing itself through the many art classes he attended in his following years in school, and even amongst his friendships.

    “One of my friends was drawing anime and I was like, ‘what is that?’” said Ocampo. “He said it was anime so I said I wanted to try. They said, ‘You’re doing good. You’re a natural,’ so I started liking it.”

    Ocampo’s family moved to Hawaii when he was 10. He continued to follow his inclination toward art classes throughout high school.

    “Sophomore or junior year I took two art classes,” said Ocampo. “Mostly abstract designs and painting.”

    His passion however, lies in the anime sketch art category, even posting a popular cartoon character from the “Dragon Ball Z” series at the window where he collects dishes to wash.

    “I don’t like painting though, because it’s only doing like this,” said Ocampo while pantomiming very basic stroke patterns with his hand. “Pen and paper. Sketch.”

    After graduating high school, Ocampo found himself wondering what would come next.

    “One year passed and I was like, ‘I’m going nowhere,’” said Ocampo. “My sister’s been in the Navy [about] three years now so I was [thinking] I might as well join the Navy.”

    Including his time in boot camp, Ocampo has been in the Navy for more than six months. He arrived to Theodore Roosevelt March 3, just days before the ship departed for Alaska, and is already making an impact on the daily operations in the forward mess.

    “It’s for fun,” said Ocampo. “Some of my drawings take [about] three days because I’m just taking my time. I mean it’s calming me down, it’s like my peace.”
    Ocampo is making the best of a situation most Sailors dread. He’s taking his passion and using it to uplift the people around him. The inherent nature of a Sailor is to be uniform, but in breaking out of that uniformity, Ocampo used aspects of his personality to inspire change. That inspiration lies within the heart of every Sailor, and when shared, true change takes place.

    “Just don’t change yourself,” said Ocampo. “Stay who you are and don’t change for [anybody].”



    Date Taken: 12.10.2019
    Date Posted: 12.31.2019 14:53
    Story ID: 357990
    Location: US

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