Story by Mass Communications Specialist 3rd Class (SW) Derek Stroop, USS Peleliu Public Affairs
HONG KONG – Sailors assigned to amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu and Marines assigned to the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit volunteered their time with children at St. Clement’s Primary School during a regularly scheduled port visit, April 16.
Peleliu’s port visit represents and important opportunity to promote peace and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region, demonstrating commitment to regional partners and fostering growing relationships.
Sailors and Marines visited St. Clement’s Primary School situated in a relatively poor area of Hong Kong. They played games, ate snacks and talked with children.
“It was an amazing experience coming out here and doing something different,” said Logistics Specialist 3rd Class Gregory McKnight, from Stafford, Va. “I was able to learn a great deal about their culture, as well as build some great memories. Kids are our future, it’s important to be an inspiring figure.”
After arriving to the school by bus, the servicemembers taught the children how to march in formation and stand at the position of attention. They also played games such as “Simon Says” and “Red Light, Green Light.” Following the games, the children had an opportunity to ask the servicemembers questions about life aboard Peleliu and share snacks.
The experience was rewarding for the servicemembers who attended.
“The experience was really great,” said Sgt. Deandrea Wiley, from Philadelphia. “Working with kids you never know what to expect. We were able to communicate in English and learn some Chinese too.”
The project was coordinated between the chaplain’s department and the agency “Kidsalive” is Hong Kong.
“These children do not get the chance to experience culture outside of the city,” said Cheeris Kam, a coordinator for Kidsalive. “It’s great to get groups like this out here to see the children.”
Peleliu is the flagship for the Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group on deployment in the western Pacific region with amphibious transport dock ship USS Green Bay (LPD 20), amphibious dock landing ship USS Rushmore (LSD 47), and embarked 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit.