Hong Kong Families Host Tortuga Sailors

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Chelsea Mandello,
Amphibious Squadron 11, Public Affairs

HONG KONG – Sailors and Marines from amphibious dock landing ship USS Tortuga (LSD 46) spent a day with local Hong Kong families during a “Meal in the Home” community service experience from Oct. 30 to Nov. 1.

“Meal in the Home” allow residents of Hong Kong to treat U.S. military members to a meal or activity while in port.

“This is a wonderful experience for our Sailors and Marines aboard USS Tortuga,” said Tortuga Chaplain Lt. Adrienne Townsend. “Participants in Hong Kong are being paired with two or three service members and taking them out for a meal and personally showing them around.”

Two days prior to arriving in Hong Kong Sailors and Marines were given information about their host family, contact information and what they would be doing during their visit with the family.

“This is an awesome chance for Sailors to see Hong Kong, experience something unique and to be treated with an exceptional day out with a local family,” said Religious Programs Specialist 2nd Class Yanet Chavezespinoza.

The day’s activities were decided by the host families and ranged from hiking through a park in China, being treated to a dinner, visiting a historical sight or being invited back to the host’s house for a home cooked meal.

“I was so excited to meet with my host family in Hong Kong,” said Engineman 3rd Class Candice Edel. “I’ve never been to Hong Kong before and it was so to spend it with a local family.”
Tortuga, commanded by Cmdr. John Barnett, is part of the only forward deployed Bonhomme Richard Amphibious Ready Group and is currently operating in the 7th Fleet Area of Responsibility.

For more information about Amphibious Squadron (PHIBRON) 11 or USS Tortuga (LSD 46), please visit:

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