MADANG, Papua New Guinea – Sailors
attached to USS Peleliu (LHA 5) began volunteering their efforts in
repainting six medical ward buildings at Madang’s Modilon General
Hospital Aug. 8.
As part of the Navy’s Pacific Partnership summer humanitarian-aid
mission, the community relations (COMREL) project has brought between
15 and 30 volunteers from the ship to the hospital each day. During
their efforts, the Sailors are adding two coats of baby blue paint to
the buildings, as well as repainting the white trim around the
structures’ interiors, according to Construction Electrician 2nd Class
(SCW) Joel Torres, the COMREL supervisor.
“These guys are doing a phenomenal job, it’s real motivating to see
them work,” Torres said.
Arriving at the hospital from various departments on Peleliu each day,
the COMREL volunteers have an assortment of personal reasons for
wanting to lend a hand to the hospital, which treats up to 275
patients on a daily basis.
“I like coming out here and seeing the expressions on people’s faces,”
said Cryptologic Technician (Technical) Seaman Sarah Curl, who has
managed to make her way to the COMREL each day since the project
began. “They seem really happy to have us out here, so it makes me
feel like I’m doing something that’s for a great cause."
Gunner’s Mate 3rd Class Benjamin Woto, another of the project’s
volunteers, said helping out during the COMREL was rewarding.
“Sometimes we need to come and assist and show that we care about
people,” said Woto,. “That’s why I’m out here. I love working with
Modilon General is working toward national accreditation, and the
Sailors’ efforts in repainting the 50-year old building are helping
that cause a great deal, said Dr. Jethro Usurup, the hospital’s chief
“The painting is a great plus for us that I think will show the
surveyors we’re serious about keeping our buildings good to look at,”
said Usurup. “The Sailors are doing a great job for us.”
Once the Sailors are finished painting the exteriors of the buildings,
hospital staff will begin work on the interiors, according to Usurup.
The hospital is scheduled to be surveyed for accreditation next month,