HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WAVY) - The USS Abraham Lincoln is in the middle of a major overhaul at Newport News Shipbuilding, so her sailors have some extra time on their hands. More than a thousand of them spent Friday making Hampton Roads a better place.
They were out in force this morning – spraying, trimming, and building, just to name a few.
More than 1,500 sailors from the USS Lincoln volunteered throughout Hampton Roads as part of an all-day community relations or “ComRel" project.
"We're involved in schools, we're involved in parks, we're involved in habitat for humanity,” said CDR Denis Cox.
Not all of the projects they worked on were built completely by the sailors, but they were there to help with anything they could.
"We've been doing ComRel projects in this area since we came into the area last year,” said AOCS Charlie Odom. “This is the first Habitat for Humanity project that I've been involved with.”
"I know there's some people that uh, particularly for these houses, that maybe a little bit down on their luck, living in apartments their whole lives, and this is a good chance to get and do something not for yourself,” said AOC Paul Diego.
And the whole project is about community.
"We live here, we work here, we play here, our kids go to school here in these communities,” said Cox. “We want to have a vested interest in the production of our communities.”
Since 2012, Lincoln sailors have contributed more than 5,000 volunteer hours at various ComRel projects across Hampton Roads, whether it be building a home or tidying up a city park.
"For them to make this kind of statement that they want to be here and they want to show the citizens that they care is extremely important,” said Portsmouth Mayor Kenny Wright. “The military is 48 percent of our economy here in Hampton Roads, and the things that we do affects them and the things they do affect us. So, to have them have this kind of outreach is really impressive.”
The USS Lincoln sailors were also in Portsmouth, Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Newport News, and Yorktown on Friday. The project was coordinated through the ship's religious ministries department.
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