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NEWS | Aug. 4, 2014

Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit Helps Guam School Prepare for Classes

By Tanya M.C. Mendiola, U.S. Naval Forces Marianas Public Affairs

Sailors from Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit (EODMU) 5 picked up paintbrushes and rollers to spruce up one of their sister schools during a community relations (COMREL) event in Dededo Aug. 2.

Several Sailors from EODMU-5 and family members were at Wettengel Elementary School as part of a volunteer workforce of approximately 70 people. Sailors worked alongside Air Force airmen, government of Guam employees and community members to get the northern campus ready for the upcoming school year.

School Principal Evangeline Iglesias said she was happy with the turnout and that the Sailors were enthusiastic and ready to help the school staff and other volunteers prepare for the start of classes in a couple of weeks.

"It's a good day. The people here are wonderful," Iglesias said. "The men and women out there, giving up their time, they're impacting 628 kids, currently (enrolled)... the kids will come in the first day and say 'Wow! Our school looks so nice.'"

Navy Diver 1st Class (EXW/DSW/SS/SW) James Taft of EODMU-5, who was hard at work applying a coat of teal paint on one of many poles in a school walkway, said events such as this gives the Sailors a chance to interact with the local population and to give back.

"[Sailors] live here for three years and it's important to be involved with their surroundings, the community where they live," Taft said.

Iglesias said the Navy's engagement with the school has been positive and COMRELs are more than just about working and cleaning the school, they are opportunities to network and develop relationships.

"I see that they are very proactive in being a part of the community," Iglesias said. "They have really impressed me with their partnership."

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