US, ROK Sailors Volunteer Together to Support Busan Community
U.S. and Republic of Korea Sailors joined forces to help the local Busan community during the recent USS Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group port visit, Oct. 16-21.
Throughout the port visit, 609 U.S. and ROK Sailors volunteered at 14 locations in need throughout the greater Busan and Chinhae area.
During the visits, U.S. and ROK Sailors combined to support residents at four homes for the physical and mentally challenged, including Aikwangwon, which the U.S. Navy has enjoyed a 65-year relationship.
“My younger brother (has) autism,” said Seaman Ngozi Williams, assigned to the “Diamondbacks” from Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 102, from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, “so anytime I can, I like to volunteer to help those with disabilities and those in need. It's a way to stay connected to my brother while I’m here, and it’s the best way I can give back.”
U.S. Sailors also visited seven schools where they had the opportunity to help teach English to more than 2,500 students.
“[Visiting with the Sailors] was an excellent opportunity for me to practice speaking and understanding English,” said Lee, Jeong-chan, an eighth-grade student at Daecheon Middle School. “The U.S. Navy Sailors were very kind, and I hope to see them again in the future.”
In addition to Sailors visiting the schools and homes, 200 residents from Aikwangwon and the Dandelion House visited Reagan for an in-port tour.
“When we visited Reagan, our residents’ faces lit up with smiles,” said Jang, Yun-hee, a teacher at Aikwangwon. “Everyone was excited to see the ship up close and standing on it made us realize how powerful and how important Reagan is to Korea.”
For many students, the chance to see the Navy’s only forward-deployed aircraft carrier was a once in a lifetime event.
“I was too excited the night before our visit so I couldn’t sleep well,” said Han, Gi-chang, an Aikwangwon resident, and it was incredible to see it floating on the water.”
Ronald Reagan and its embarked air wing, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5, departed Busan Oct. 21 after a five-day port visit and is currently on patrol supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific Region.
For more news from USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), visit http://www.navy.mil/local/cvn76/.
For more news from Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Korea, visit www.navy.mil/local/cnfk/