Successful Community Relations Event in Taranto, Italy

TARANTO, Italy (Feb. 1, 2010) – Sailors aboard guided missile destroyer USS Bulkeley participated in a Community Relations (COMREL) event Sunday afternoon at Chiesa di San Giuseppe.
This playground is supported by a local Catholic church and is used as a community playground for underprivileged children.
COMREL events give Sailors an opportunity to actively take part in foreign affairs by showing positive support and influence in different communities around the world. These activities are strictly optional, however many Bulkeley Sailors were willing to give up what little free time they had to serve others.
“I am very proud to be a part of this project. We had over 35 volunteers, which is a direct reflection of the commitment we have to service. Interacting with the children and helping the people of Taranto in this small way will be a highlight to our deployment,” said Ensign Robert Jaindl, Gas Turbine Officer.
Aside from general maintenance and upkeep, Sailors donated basketball hoops, basketballs, soccer balls, and footballs.
“We all went there and helped clean up the play areas while others fixed a broken basketball hoop,” said Damage Controlman Fireman Apprentice Larry Cruz.
“After all the work was done, the children came to the playground and everyone played soccer and basketball before leaving for the day,” said Cruz
‘It was definitely a rewarding experience but I just wish we could have done more!” said Jaindl.
Bulkeley has just finished their first successful port-of-call in Taranto, Italy.

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