Sailors from the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4) and embarked Marines from the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) participated in a community service (COMSERV) project at the Maung Phuket Elementary School during a port visit to Phuket, Thailand Aug. 23-24.
More than 100 Sailors and Marines participated in the event, sponsored by Boxer’s religious ministries department and the Phuket Navy League.
“It felt so good to help,” said Chief Aviation Boatswain’s Mate Jorge Sanders. “The community and school needed us, and to see so many Sailors answer the call for help was awesome.”
Volunteers spent several off-duty hours to help paint old buildings and gates surrounding the school.
“The volunteer spirit was infectious,” said Electronics Technician 3rd Class Sergio Suarez.
Suarez added that he would recommend similar service projects to anyone who has never done one, saying, “Seeing the children happy made it all worthwhile.”
Boxer volunteers were treated to an authentic Thai meal that was served after the completion of the painting.
“The Thai hot sauce was amazing; I wanted a bottle to take home,” said Suarez, who added that the food was his favorite part of the day.
While in port, Boxer, 13th MEU, the amphibious dock landing ship USS Comstock (LSD 45) and the amphibious transport dock ship USS Green Bay (LPD 20) participated in five COMSERV projects during their three days visiting Phuket.
Boxer is homeported in San Diego and is underway in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations during a Western Pacific deployment.
Source: navy, August 29, 2011;