Fitzgerald Sailors Share Lessons With Guam Youth

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Guam – Sailors from USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) discussed the importance of school, careers and a drug-free attitude to students at Okkodo High School in Dededo Sept. 26.

The outreach to the school was one of two community service projects Fitzgerald Sailors supported during a port call on Guam.

“I think it’s a great contact for (students) and to give them more information one-to-one and face-to-face, so they have more comfort level with approaching people in the military and getting to understand what the military is about, especially here on Guam,” said Okkodo High School business education teacher Sharon Baxter.

During their visit, Sailors looked to make a difference in students’ outlooks and answered questions about life-enrichment, education and life as a Navy Sailor. 

“It’s always important to come out and talk to kids,” said Operations Specialist 1st Class (SW) Justen Abernethy. “Especially because it’s the time of period when they’re starting to take everything in and they’re learning and they’re adapting to that adult life. So it’ll help them along their path if they can hear it from the people who are out there, doing the job itself.”

Abernethy added that discussing leadership and opportunities with students could make differences in their futures.

“The benefits for them is just that much more knowledge, that much more understanding and being able to say, ‘Hey, this is why they do this and I can do this and I can be that much better in my life.’”

Seaman Recruit Mark Christian echoed Abernethy and said that the Navy is a great career for students to look to help better themselves.

“I wish somebody did it to me, to be honest with you,” he said. “I wish I had somebody to come there and answer questions. There’s a lot of good things the Navy can offer.”

Sailors also supported Special Olympics of Guam, coaching bowling athletes Sept. 29 at Century Lanes in Tamuning in preparation for an upcoming tournament.