U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Gabriel Martinez
U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Gabriel Martinez

Yokosuka Sailors visit the Shunku Gakuen orphanage

by Petty Officer 2nd Class Kaila Peters
USS RONALD REAGAN (CVN 76)

Twenty-two Sailors assigned to the Navy’s forward-deployed aircraft carrier, USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), visited the Shunku Gakuen orphanage in Yokosuka, Japan March 27.

Shunku Gakuen has been caring for children since the end of World War II, where they nurture the children as well as educate them on necessary skills required to support and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

“I was really interested in going out and seeing the community,” said Electronics Technician 3rd Class Paige Higginbotham. “It’s so important for us to maintain our ties with our host country. I am delighted to be here to give these children some love attention and to see what their life is like here.”

Some of the children matched up with Reagan Sailors for games of soccer and badminton while others played with the Sailors at the jungle gym throughout the day.

“I was impressed by how much the kids wanted to interact with us,” said Higginbotham. “Even though we don’t speak the same language, we all had such a great time together and had a lot of fun.”
Shunku Gakuen hosts about 80 children ranging in ages from infancy all the way to high school years. Yokosuka-based Sailors have been making trips to visit them every year.

“I love the kids’ energy,” said Interior Communication Specialist Seaman Sonia Salazar. “The energy here is so great and I know I will be leaving today with lots of laughter and lots of smiles.”

Ronald Reagan, the flagship of Carrier Strike Group 5, provides a combat-ready force that protects and defends the collective maritime interests of its allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific region.

Photo Caption:
YOKOSUKA, Japan (Mar. 27, 2019) Sailors assigned to the Navy's forward-deployed aircraft carrier, USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), and Commander, Task Force 70, play on a seesaw with children during a community relations event at Yokosuka's Shunku Gakuen Orphanage. Ronald Reagan, the flagship of Carrier Strike Group 5, provides a combat-ready force that protects and defends the collective maritime interests of its allies and partners in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

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