Sailors stationed aboard guided-missile destroyer USS Mahan (DDG 72) participated in a community service project at a Naples-area orphanage during their port visit, Jan. 14.
The Sailors took a break from enjoying the local history and cuisine to give back to the community that has hosted them by visiting the Centro Laila Center in Mondragone, an orphanage housing more than 40 disadvantaged children.
“It brought joy to my heart that we could bridge the gap between different cultures and put a smile on these children’s faces,” said the event’s organizer, Chief Gas Turbine Specialist (Electrical) Quintince Harper.
The Sailors and children spent the day enjoying a number of activities including coloring, reading, and playing games such as musical chairs. Later in the evening, the Sailors helped prepare and serve a pasta dinner for the group.
“It means so much to me and the children for not just anybody, but American Sailors to show such support,” said Giselle Luciani, manager of the family-run orphanage. “They care for the welfare of these children miles away from where they are from.”
“It was hard to say goodbye to such wonderful children,” said Fire Controlman 2nd Class Antoine Dunklin.
USS Mahan, homeported out of Norfolk, Va., is currently on a scheduled deployment in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 6th Fleet Area of Responsibility.
Naval Today Staff, January 23, 2013; Image: US Navy