Sailors from USS Mahan Volunteer in Souda Bay

Sailors stationed aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Mahan (DDG 72) participated in a community engagement project in a Souda Bay-area village during their port visit April 14.

The Sailors used their liberty time to help give back to the community in Mouzouras Village, which has a population of about 800 people.

The Sailors spent the day working at the local cemetery performing rehabilitation work to a fence and gate, including sanding, scraping rust and painting.

Chief Logistics Specialist LaClondria Blackmon, one of the volunteers, said the positive response the volunteers received from the villagers made the experience worthwhile.

“I volunteered because of the satisfaction I see on the faces of the people in the community,” said Blackmon. “When they show their appreciation, it makes it all worthwhile.”

Two of the Sailors who volunteered returned to the village the following day and were greeted by a local woman who baked them cookies and pies as a token of the village’s appreciation.

“I enjoyed participating,” said Damage Controlman 1st Class Glenn Havert. “I was able to use some of the preservation skills I’ve learned during my time in the Navy. It’s great to be able to use those skills to help others.”

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, April 29, 2013