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Seabees Work at Guyanese School

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS070926-38
Release Date: 9/26/2007 6:49:00 PM

By Yeoman 3rd Class Nathan Escott and Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Tyler Jones, USNS Comfort Public Affairs

GEORGETOWN, Guyana (NNS) -- Crew members from hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) repaired facilities at the Dorothy Bailey Municipal Centre in Georgetown, Guyana, Sept. 25.

Working alongside Sailors from Construction Battalion Maintenance Unit (CBMU) 202, a volunteer from the nursing department aboard Comfort chipped away old paint from the walls of the health and education facility while Seabees installed new sinks and plumbing, renovated examination rooms, upgraded playground equipment and enhanced the overall safety of the center.

Air National Guard, Tech Sgt. Ronald Pelletier, from Rochester, N.H., said he's glad to have this excellent opportunity to work with the Seabees for the next few days.

“I feel like I’m accomplishing a lot,” Pelletier said. “The Seabees are such a valuable asset to our mission and contribute so much to these communities. Being here has really made me realize what we take for granted back home.”

Pelletier also said he was proud to represent the United States and its military in South America, especially in such a positive and rewarding capacity.

“Everything is so different here,” Pelletier said. “It's great to get out and see a new culture and meet new people. It’s definitely a benefit for the United States and [Guyana].”

For all the rewarding experiences, they are not without challenges and sacrifices, said Equipment Operator 1st Class (SCW) Manuel Gradillas.

“The most challenging part of our mission has been supply,” Gradillas said. “A lot of the things we need are hard to find here in country and when we do find them, they’re usually really expensive.”

Gradillas said that sometimes the battalion can’t find the supplies they need at all.

“When we can’t find what we need, we do what Seabees do: adapt and overcome,” he said.

The Seabees will continue their mission at the municipal building for the duration of Comfort’s visit in Guyana.

Comfort is on a four-month humanitarian deployment to Latin America and the Caribbean providing medical treatment to patients in a dozen countries.

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