Story Number: NNS140714-06Release Date: 7/14/2014 5:27:00 AM
By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Beverly J. Lesonik, USS George Washington Public Affairs
BUSAN, Republic of Korea (NNS) -- Sailors assigned to the forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) volunteered for a community relations (COMREL) project with Jeonghwa Noin Yoyangwon (Jeonghwa Sanatorium for senior citizens), July 12.
These Sailors might not make the American Idol, but they demonstrated their ability to entertain senior citizens through song and dance.
"I enjoy COMRELs; especially when I get to be a part of an event where there is heavy interaction between our two countries," said Aviation Ordanceman 1st Class Jesus Valverde, from Albuquerque, N.M.
Five sailors from the Republic of Korea (ROK) navy joined George Washington for the volunteer opportunity. Together, they sat and talked with residents and danced to both American and Korean songs.
"Seeing all of the smiles and hearing the laughter was definitely my favorite part of the event," said Valverde. "Some of them sang beautifully and would dance with us. I hope we influenced their day as much as they did ours."
COMRELs were established by the Department of Defense in order to foster and further good relations with communities around the world. They help to earn public support and understanding of operations, missions, and requirements of the military services, and to increase understanding of U.S. defense posture and capabilities by increasing public exposure.
"It feels good to give back to the host nation," said Aviation Boatswain's Mate 3rd Class Logan Hagerty, from Jacksonville, Fla. "I am lucky to experience the different ports we visit, and this is a great way to show my gratitude towards their generosity for allowing us to be here."
George Washington and its embarked air wing, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5, provide a combat-ready force that protects and defends the collective maritime interest of the U.S. and its allies and partners in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.
For more news from USS George Washington (CVN 73), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn73/.