By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Brian H. Abel
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (Oct. 9, 2012) – Sailors assigned to the U.S. Navy’s forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) participated in a community service event (COMSERV) at Rumah Ozanam Home for Children in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Oct. 9.
This was one of six COMSERVs organized by the ship’s Command Religious Ministries Department during the four-day port visit.
Student’s first experience with U.S. Navy Sailors was intimidating at first, but after a few moments there was plenty of interaction.
“The kids were really shy,” said Intelligence Specialist 2nd Class Timothy Holsti, from Lowell, Ind. “They opened up once they realized that we’re friendly.”
The Sailors who participated in the COMSERV taught the children a lot of what life in the U.S. Navy is like and the students surprised the Sailors with what they knew.
“It was interesting talking to them,” said Electrician Technician 3rd Class Angelina Harrell, from Colorado Springs, Co. “We answered a lot of their questions about what our jobs are and what it’s like being on an aircraft carrier.”
COMSERVs provide Sailors an opportunity to get to know the local residents in foreign ports and allow them to spend their liberty strengthening the relationship with the local community.
“This was my first COMSERV and we bundled up branches,” said Harrell. “I’m not afraid of manual labor, I just don’t like bug bites. Still, I would definitely do this again.”
“I will do COMSERVs in every port and in Yokosuka, Japan because I like helping in general – especially people in need,” said Holsti. “We’re helping people during our free time instead of going out and consuming alcohol.”
George Washington and its embarked air wing, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5, provide a combat-ready force that protects and defends the collective maritime interest of the U.S. and its allies and partners in the Asia-Pacific region.