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McFaul Sailors Roll up their Sleeves while Visiting Key West

Navy News Service

Story Number: NNS130208-08
2/8/2013

By Lt. Marian King, USS McFaul Public Affairs

KEY WEST, Fla (NNS) -- Thirty Sailors from guided-missile destroyer USS McFaul (DDG 74) contributed more than 100 man-hours to the community during a weekend port visit to Key West, Jan. 26-27.

During their Saturday ashore, Sailors volunteered Habitat for Humanity and spent the day renovating a home for income-qualified individuals who would otherwise be unable to afford housing. Originally built in the 1920s as housing for cavalry officers on the military base, the structure was modernized in the 1950s and now being fully renovated for occupancy.

In support of the volunteer effort, Sailors completed various projects, ranging from installing sound-proof tracking, building and installing new fence posts, painting, and yard work.

The following day, the visiting crewmembers spent the day at the Key West Wildlife Center, an organization whose mission is to rescue, rehabilitate, and then release injured birds and animals in the Key West area. The Center staff cares for more than 1,000 native and wild animals each year, including iguanas, turtles and a variety of birds, from turkey vultures to roosters and pelicans.

Sailors spent their time there cleaning, feeding pelicans, organizing supplies, landscaping and repairing the facility that was damaged by Hurricane Isaac.

'Volunteering gave me a deeper appreciation for what these two organizations, and others like them, do for the less fortunate and for injured wildlife,' said Electrician's Mate 2nd Class Audrey Stromberg. 'I was blessed to just help in any way I could.'

'The crew is amazing,' said Tom Sweets, Wildlife Center manager, of the McFaul team of volunteers. 'I tried to get them to stop working and to take a rest, but they just keep going. They are like machines. The work that they are doing is amazing; we greatly appreciate it.'

The crew also had some time to enjoy Key West, relaxing on the beach, eating and shopping. Many went on snorkeling excursions, jet ski tours, and explored the tropical island by bicycle.

McFaul is underway participating in routine training exercises.

For more news from Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, visit www.navy.mil/local/surflant/.



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