HAGATNA, Guam (NNS) — More than 1,000 service members, military families and island residents participated in the 19th Annual Guam Coastal Cleanup at various beaches and coasts on the island Sept. 28.
Sailors from Joint Region Marianas, U.S. Naval Base Guam (NBG), Coastal Riverine Group 1 Det. Guam, Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 11, Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 25, Naval Computer and Telecommunications Station Guam, U.S. Naval Hospital Guam and Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit (EODMU) 5, joined other members of the military community to pick up trash and beautify Guam.
“I think this is a phenomenal idea,” said NBG Chief Navy Counselor (SW/AW) Bridgette Austin. “Without doing this annually these beaches would not be the beautiful sight they are.”
Austin and other Sailors worked alongside members of the local community picking up various types of items from aluminum cans to baking sheets and plastic bottles to cardboard boxes.
“We are one community and the camaraderie of getting to know one another in a place like this, in this type of forum is the perfect example of how we work together as a team,” she added. “I think it brings a little bit more of an appreciation and a respect for the military, knowing we still spend our free time out here trying to help out the local community.”
NMCB-11 Officer in Charge Lt. Cmdr. Chuck Roy said he was glad to take part in the effort as it allowed the Seabees to once again work with the community they established a relationship with many years ago.
“It’s what we do as Seabees, we build, we fight, but we have no problem helping everybody out,” he said. “It’s part of our community; we were here since World War II and we’ve been here since, so this is a community of the Seabees.”
Dave Duenas, site leader for the Paseo center in Hagatna, watched as members of the local and military communities worked together.
“I think it fosters a good relationship with the community,” he said. “It lets the military know that they are a part of this community and it lets the local community know the military are contributing in whatever way they can.”
Duenas added that the historical partnership is continually built upon through events such as the cleanup.
“The military, all branches – Air Force, Navy, Army, National Guard, Coast Guard – they come out and support this since day one and we’re just thrilled to death that we have them as part of this cleanup,” he said. “Without them it wouldn’t be the same.”