By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Matthew Riggs, USS Ronald Reagan Public Affairs
BUSAN, Republic of Korea – Sailors from the U.S. Navy’s only forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) visited the Jung Hwa nursing home for a community relations project during a port visit to Busan, Republic of Korea, Nov. 2.
During the visit, Sailors mingled with residents and helped maintain the building by performing light housekeeping duties.
“We are very happy that everybody took the time to come here,” said Sechang Lee, director of Jung Hwa nursing home. “We hope you will have a good time here during your visit.”
Community relations projects were established by the Department of Defense to foster and further good relations with communities around the world. They help to earn public support and understanding of operations, missions and requirements of the military services, and to increase understanding of U.S. defense posture and capabilities by increasing public exposure.
“It’s important to help build good relations with all the countries we visit,” said Air Traffic Controller 1st Class Daren Whigham, from Enterprise, Ala. “Helping people is what most of us would already do back home, so I see no reason to not do it in other countries too.”
After finishing with the work, the Sailors were invited to sing and dance to karaoke performed by members of the nursing home.
“I had a lot of fun,” said Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Equipment) 3rd Class Elizabeth Reyes, from Houston. “It’s a great way to get to know some of the people here and experience how they live in Korea. It’s cool to see how different their culture is.”
Before departing, the Sailors and staff exchanged gifts and parting remarks.
“On behalf of the staff and the residents, thank you very much,” said Lee. “I hope everyone will be able to look back on today with happy memories.”