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Halyburton Provides Helping Hand in Panama

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS070906-05
Release Date: 9/6/2007 12:19:00 PM

By Storekeeper 2nd Class Jason Cook, USS Halyburton Public Affairs

VASCO NUNEZ DE BALBAO, Panama (NNS) -- Sailors from USS Halyburton (FFG-40) completed their first community relations project of their Counter Narco-Terrorism deployment during their visit to Vasco Nunez de Balboa Aug. 24.

The site of the volunteer project was a home for abused and neglected children called “Provida.” The building is provided by the local Panamanian government and consists of six bedrooms, four bathrooms, a kitchen and meeting area. The caretakers provide amenities and utilities through donations from the local population, but due to the current economic state of the area, the building was rundown and in desperate need of repairs.

Sailors assisted by stripping and painting two bedrooms and repairing shower fixtures and several bicycles. They donated over $200 of their own money once they saw the need for more materials to repair the home and the bicycles. They even purchased school supplies, toys, soccer balls and sandals, for which the children were extremely surprised.

They enjoyed the company of Sailors and were underfoot the majority of the time, desperate to lend a hand. The children gathered outside to say goodbye as the Sailors left to return to the ship.

“There are many memorable moments in life, being able to help those children was definitely one of them,” said Gas Turbine Technician 1st Class Adalberto Alomar.

Ensign Lindsay Duncan said that in their next visit to Panama, “we hope to return to the same home to spend time helping the children we got to know that day.”

Halyburton, homeported in Mayport, Fla., is currently conducting Counter-Narco Terrorism operations under the direction of Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command and Joint Inter-Agency Task Force-South in the U.S. Southern Command area of focus.

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