For the first time in nearly two months, the sailors on the Navy Destroyer U.S.S O’Kane have time to themselves. With limited time ashore, the sailors have decided that it’s all hands on deck for the Juneau community instead, volunteering much of their precious free time helping those in need.
“This is the first liberty visit that we’ve had,” said Commanding Officer Colby Sherwood. “This is the first time the crew hasn’t had work that we demand they get done.”
While many sailors hope to go hiking, take in the sights and enjoy a seafood dinner, their time will also be spent involved with the community. Sailors spent Sunday with local organization, Trail Mix, maintaining walking and hiking trails throughout community, according to Donna Hurley, president of the Flying Lions Club.
Volunteer work on the agenda for their remaining time includes playing basketball with local high school students and providing ship tours for veterans, government officials and school children, Hurley said.
Sailors will also be working with the homeless shelter and the women’s shelter, said Sherwood.
The O’Kane will also be assisting with the Wreath Laying Ceremony at the U.S.S Juneau memorial site today at 2 p.m. The ship will provide the color guard for the ceremony as well as a speech from Commanding Officer Sherwood.
Docked in Alaskan waters for the first time, the O’Kane will remain anchored just off shore until departing May 18 for long journey back home to Pearl Harbor.