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McInerney Improves Community Relations in San Salvador

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS061222-06
Release Date: 12/22/2006 10:16:00 AM

From USS McInerney Public Affairs

ACAJUTLA, San Salvador (NNS) -- USS McInerney (FFG 8) Sailors helped the town’s social workers improve the area around the local soccer fields and community center during a port visit Nov. 24 to San Salvador, El Salvador.

Despite a language barrier, both groups learned a great deal about each others' cultures and day-to-day lifestyle during the community relations project. For example, an elderly woman taught McInerney Sailors to their surprise how to cut the grass using a machete.

“It may be harder cutting grass with a machete, but it is more fun because there were so many of us working together,” said Quartermaster 2nd Class Eric Smith.

“Today shows what a lot of people can do with few resources if we work together,” said Cryptologic Technichian (Technical) 2nd Class Jerome Whitaker.

Sailors used pick axes and shovels to remove garbage from the ground and the streets, hoping that the simple act of clearing the trash helps raise awareness and community support for the social workers' mission.

After a morning of work and a good lunch, their Salvadorian hosts challenged McInerney Sailors to a soccer game. Despite losing to a local soccer team 5-3, the players enjoyed themselves, and said the experience from the day will have a lasting impact.

“Today really made me think about what I have in the United States and how I take things for granted,” said Seaman Juan-Jose Pena.

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

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