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ESG 5 Sailors Perform Community Service

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS100426-01

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Brianna K. Dandridge, Expeditionary Strike Group 5 Public Affairs

MANAMA, Bahrain (NNS) -- Sailors from Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 5 volunteered at the Regional Institute for Active Learning (RIAL) School, a school focused on providing education to children with learning disabilities in Manama, Bahrain, April 22.

"Seeing those smiling faces and letting the kids know that they are valuable is rewarding," said Chief Personnel Specialist Donnie Haynes. "As a parent, I enjoy being with the kids because my own family is so far away."

ESG 5 Sailors have visited the RIAL School five times in the past three months to volunteer time, donate toys and school supplies.

According to Capt. Joe Russell, ESG 5's chief of staff, the school is a very worthwhile project and the command will continue to support the needs of RIAL.

"Being able to spend time with kids that are close to the age of my boys makes home seem a little closer," said Russell. "It was a phenomenal experience."

Several members of the staff have become regular volunteers for the school, enabling them to get to form relationships with the students.

"Members of the command have an ongoing relationship with the school," said Haynes. "The interaction is beneficial for both the Sailors and RIAL School students."

"The U.S. Navy has been very generous to the school," said Christine Gordon, director of RIAL School. "The Sailors are helping me fulfill my wish list for the school."

The RIAL School is a nonprofit special needs school and houses approximately 100 students of varying educational and physical abilities.

ESG 5 was re-established in November 2009 to support amphibious forces deployed to the region, mine warfare, contingency response missions and maritime humanitarian aid and disaster relief operations within the U.S. 5th Fleet Area of Responsibility.

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