Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Mustin Sailors Extend Partnership to Sydney Children’s Home

(Written by Maj. Brad Gordon, USMC, who is in Sydney, Australia supporting the U.S. Consulate in preparation for exercise Talisman Saber 2009)

More than 20 Sailors from the USS Mustin had the opportunity to visit patients of the Sydney Children’s Hospital on June 29.

The Sailors were in Sydney as part of their port visit in advance of the combined U.S. Military/Australian Defense Force exercise Talisman Saber.

Community service events such as the visit to the Children’s Hospital are a very real opportunity for U.S. service members to build relationships in the communities where they visit.

As the Sailors went from ward to ward, seeing children battling cancer, recovering from severe injuries, waiting on organ transplants, they couldn’t help but be moved and then reflect on the gifts they had been given in life.

Each time a Sailor gave one of the children a little toy or stopped to play a video game with them or even color a picture, the children would light up and you could see in their eyes, they didn’t want their new friends to leave.

In one instance, the Sailors had a fantastic reality hit them as they were visiting two boys, both in the hospital after receiving athletic injuries. One boy was awake and talkative while the other had been in a coma. As the Sailors were there visiting, the boy in a coma opened his eyes and took a breath on his own, coming out of the coma.

Instances like this not only benefit the children, they benefit the Sailors as well. Numerous times during the visit, Sailors would walk up to their escort and talk about how moving it was to see the determination on the young kids' faces.

No one was more determined than young, 5-year-old, Oscar. This young boy doesn’t know the meaning of the word STOP. The nurses say he is just a fireplug from the time he wakes up until he finally passes out asleep in the evening. When the Sailors arrived he was running around the ward, hanging onto his I/V trolley, with a huge smile. When the Sailors walked through the door, Oscar’s eyes widen even further and he couldn’t get to them fast enough. He had 20 new friends. When they finally left, Oscar couldn’t wave his hand hard enough. He just kept waving until the last Sailor was out of sight.

The Sailors of the USS Mustin brought the Pacific Command message of friendship and cooperation to Sydney. It wasn’t with great fanfare, but they carried the message nonetheless.
These children will remember their partnership with the Sailors of the USS Mustin for years to come.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's great to see a positive storey with US Navy sailors given to the Australian community.
I known this has happen for many years as I seen it with my own eyes & meet persons involved with such events.In my eyes as an Aussie your welcome anytime mate!
Thank you for your support
Keep up the good work
PS Fair sailing

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