Fourteen Sailors and Marines aboard amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island (LHD 8) visited young men at the Hong Kong Student Aid Society Holland Hostel as part of a community relations event (COMREL) Aug. 21.
Cmdr. Timothy Moore, chaplain aboard Makin Island, and the chaplain department organized and facilitated the COMREL event.
“Going out and doing projects like this shows a lot of compassion and it’s a different and truly meaningful way to experience the culture of a place,” said Moore.
The day started with a brief on the history and general overview of the program led by Superintendant Chan Wing Chun.
Chun said that since 1967 Hong Kong Student Aid Society has been providing a plethora of services targeted at young men ages 11 and up with various personal and family issues. The organization, in part, works at developing students through a range of recreational activities including music and sports.
The service members had the opportunity to experience some of the activities firsthand during their visit.
Five students performed as a band for the service members and later the students invited the service members to compete with them in a rowing competition and basketball game.
Chun said in regards to the visit, “We are really grateful to have had these men and women come here to spend time with the boys. Watching the way they interacted with each other is truly amazing and it really meant a lot to the students here.”
The Chaplain department is planning to facilitate more COMREL events throughout deployment and service members are encouraged to contact them for details and opportunities to serve on a project.
Makin Island, the flagship of the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group, is on a deployment with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit to promote peace and freedom of the seas by providing security and stability in the 7th fleet area of operations.