volunteer in Singapore
USS Ingersoll Public Affairs
USS Ingersoll and crew departed Pearl Harbor Nov. 25, 1997 on a six month Western Pacific deployment, to conduct operations in the Arabian Gulf.
Being away from family during the holiday season is difficult for anyone, but that comes with the job for U.S. Navy Sailors. While away, spreading holiday spirit and community goodwill is always a treat for deployed ships. This was evident on USS Ingersoll as the crew made a scheduled port visit in Singapore December 12.
The Ingersoll First Class Petty Officer Association coordinated with Commander, Logistics Force Western Pacific to participate in a Singapore community relations project at the Singapore Boys Town. The Singapore Boys Town is a school which accepts and accommodates approximately 200 children per year that have social or domestic problems. The Boys Town has a regimented curriculum that helps these children deal with their problems.
Organizing the Boys Town visit was the president of Ingersoll's First Class Association, Disbursing Clerk 1st Class (SW) Earl Jones. Jones received overwhelming support from more than 40 interested crewmembers to fill the requested 30 volunteer positions.
The project kicked off the morning of December 16. Although most of the children were away on holiday break, faculty members met the Ingersoll volunteers at Boys Town to give a warm welcome and brief the details of the project. Three teams of 10 Sailors were formed and set to work on three dormitory halls at the school. Ingersoll volunteers spent time sweeping, cleaning, and performing basic maintenance and gardening work that needed attention before the holiday break was over and the children returned to school.
The project wrapped up with lunch for the volunteers and the Boys Town faculty members. Feedback from the faculty and volunteers was extremely positive and was heralded by some of the participants as one of the best community projects they have ever been involved in. Reflecting this sentiment can best be expressed by Interior Communications Technician 1st Class Mark Clarkin, a project volunteer.
"I really feel a true sense of accomplishment here, a feeling that we have done something that will make a difference in these kid's lives," he said.
As the Ingersoll continues the voyage west to report on station in the Arabian Gulf, the officers and crew look forward to future community relations projects like this one.