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By Stephanie Godlewski

HAGATNA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, Aug 17) – Sailors from the USS Kitty Hawk carrier strike group took time out of their port visit to volunteer with various community projects around the island of Guam yesterday.

Despite having only a few days off from their duties on the carrier, many sailors wanted to give back to the island through any help they could provide.

"We are guests and the people are so friendly, we should give back," said Alejandro Esparza, an aviation mechanic aboard the Kitty Hawk.

He was among many sailors who helped clean up a Tamuning baseball field yesterday.

Esparza said he is usually detailed to work at least 12-hour shifts, and usually works on F-18 fighter jets. He noted that sailors don't usually get a lot of time off, which makes their leave time during port visits such a precious commodity. Yet, he said it was important to help out the communities of the ports they visit.

Lt. Pam Stefanski said there is at least one opportunity at every port visited to give back.

"It's always important to give back. Everyone on Guam has been so generous, it's the least we can do," she said as she helped clean the Tamuning field.

Tamuning wasn't the only area receiving help, as Kitty Hawk sailors spent the morning conducting yard work, general repairs and painting projects at Sanctuary and Island Girl Power. Today, they are scheduled to help out at the Ritidian Wildlife Refuge.

Sailors from the USS Kitty Hawk strike group recently participated in the Valiant Shield military exercises, which took place Aug. 6 to 13 about 200 miles southeast of Guam.

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