Wednesday, April 15, 2009

USS John C. Stennis crew in Pattaya Thailand

PATTAYA, Thailand (April 11, 2009) Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Equipment) 1st Class Daniel Brandau, from Osage, Iowa embarked aboard the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74), plays music from his cell phone for a blind student during a community service project at the Pattaya Redemptorist School for the Blind. John C. Stennis is in Laem Chabang, Thailand for a scheduled port visit during a six-month deployment to the western Pacific Ocean. (US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Dmitry Chepusov/Released) 090411-N-9610C-095

Stennis Visits Children at School for the Blind in Thailand
Story Number: NNS090413-11
Release Date: 4/13/2009 3:12:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Dmitry Chepusov

PATTAYA, Thailand (NNS) -- Sailors and Marines from USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) volunteered 66 community service hours to clean a school and deliver lunch to students at Pattaya Redemptorist School for the Blind in Pattaya, Thailand, April 11.

Service members split up into two groups. One group cleaned courtyards, classrooms and playgrounds. The other group took a walk on a nearby beach with some of the students.

"Our visit put smiles on faces," said Aviation Boatswain's Mate Equipment 1st Class (AW) Daniel Brandau of Osage, Iowa, who accompanied a blind student named Jorsor on the walk.

"I didn't know how to communicate with him, so I played music from my cell phone, and I think he really liked it," said Brandau.

Brandau said he did not know what was expected of him when he arrived at the school, but he enjoyed the opportunity to spend time with the students.

The Sailors and Marine donated 50 lunch packs to share with the students, after the school was cleaned and the students returned from their walk down the beach.
To show their gratitude, some of the students sang folk Thai songs for Stennis personnel.

The Pattaya Redemtorist School for the Blind was one of five community service projects undertaken by the John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group while in Thailand. The community service projects are seen as a mission during the strike group's Western Pacific deployment.

"We're part of the international community," said Program Specialist 2nd Class Pablo Monroy, strike group community relations coordinator. "This is our mission, and helping people on the front lines is how we show our support to that community."

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