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U.S. Sailors Visit School In Kenya
A group of 20 sailors from the U.S. Navy&#39;s USS Momsen visited a school in the port city of Mombasa on May 7, 2008, as part of a community relations program called Project Handclasp. <br /> <br />Project Handclasp is a U.S. Navy program that
A group of 20 sailors from the U.S. Navy's USS Momsen visited a school in the port city of Mombasa on May 7, 2008, as part of a community relations program called Project Handclasp.

Project Handclasp is a U.S. Navy program that provides donated items such as books, clothes, toys, and medical items to agencies and organizations in countries that could benefit from those materials. The items are donated by American citizens and groups and are delivered on a space-available basis aboard U.S. Navy vessels.

"This was one of the reasons why I joined the Navy," said Petty Officer Third Class Helen Stull. "We are ambassadors, and IIâ?m really proud to be one of the Americans these children will be able to say they met."

During the classroom visits to Tudor Primary School, which has more than 500 students between ages 9 and 17, sailors took turns introducing themselves to the students and describing their jobs aboard Momsen. At first the students were shy towards their foreign guests, but soon were all smiles as they asked the sailors questions about Momsen and the Navy.

After the sailors passed out the donated items, they played soccer and Frisbee with the children.

"Since I got off the bus, I have been smiling," said Senior Chief Petty Officer Anthony Harden. "Thattâ?s all that IIâ?ve been doing all day."

"I hope we made their lives a little better and were able to brighten their lives as much as they brightened mine," said Stull.

The sailors departed Mombasa on May 9, following a three-day port visit, which allowed the shippâ?s crew to participate in community relations events and professional military exchanges that strengthened ties between the United States and Kenya.

Momsen is currently underway as part of the Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group, which is on deployment to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations to support Maritime Security Operations (MSO). MSO's help develop security, which promotes stability and global prosperity in the maritime environment. These operations complement the counterterrorism and security efforts of regional nations and seek to disrupt violent extremistssâ? use of the maritime environment as a venue for attack or to transport personnel, weapons or other material.
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