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USS Robert G. Bradley Supports Community in Panama

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS061222-13
Release Date: 12/22/2006 11:47:00 AM

From USS Robert G. Bradley Public Affairs

PANAMA CITY, Panama (NNS) -- USS Robert G. Bradley (FFG 49) Sailors helped refurbish homes for cancer patients and needy children during separate community relations projects in Panama during port visits in November and December.

Chief Gas Turbine Systems Technician (Mechanical) Dion Adams organized two separate community relations events through the U.S. Embassy in Panama, in which 25 Sailors contributed their skills and effort.

Fourteen Sailors volunteered in mid-November at Casita de Mausi, a home in Panama assisting cancer patients undergoing treatment in a local hospital.

"Without this home many of these people would live in the streets between chemotherapy treatment sessions," said Walleska Wagner, People-to-People coordinator, U.S. Embassy Panama,

The home was provided by parents whose daughter, suffering herself from terminal cancer in 1996, wanted to do more for the patients struggling through difficult treatment with no place to recover.

Sailors from the ship and Air detachment Helicoptor Anti-Submarine Squadron Light (HSL) 46 Det. 1 cleared out a drainage ditch surrounding the house, cleaned the ceiling of the patio and carport, and painted the entire front of the house. As a reward, the home treated Sailors to an authentic Panamanian meal.

In mid December, another group of 11 Bradley Sailors teamed up again with the U.S. Embassy in Panama to help malnourished children at a rehabilitation center.

“The minute the Bradley Sailors visited the rehabilitation center, the children were thrilled we were there,” said Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Amado Rivera. “We thought we would do some of the same restoration work like the first COMREL, but instead we had our hearts on the children. All they wanted was to have fun and be held by someone.”

In between painting and cleanup work around the house, Sailors spent time with the children, who enjoyed the attention.

“These events show the true spirit of selflessness in our Sailors. They will go weeks without liberty and spend a large portion of their time off to do a project that they know little about when they leave the ship. Their efforts are helping to bridge relations between the United States and other parts of the world in a positive way,” said Robert G. Bradley Command Master Chief Dan Lithgow.

Robert G. Bradley is underway conducting exercises and operations at sea, along with port visits and events ashore in the U. S. Naval Forces Southern Command (NAVSO) area of operations, to foster military-to-military contact with regional maritime forces in support of theater security cooperation.

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