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Sailors and Seabees Volunteer at Montana YMCA

Story by MC2 James Vazquez, Navy Public Affairs Support Element West

BILLINGS, Mont. – Sailors and Seabees from various commands volunteered their time and efforts at the Billings Montana Family YMCA as part of Navy Week Montana 2017, Aug 14 and 15. The commands involved in the community relations event included Seabees from the Naval Construction Training Center, Naval Construction Group (NCG) 2 and Sailors from the U.S. Navy Ceremonial Guard Drill Team and Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit (EODMU) 3.

Builder 1st Class William Anderson, assigned to the Naval Construction Training Center and a Deer Lodge, Montana, native, interacts with area children during a community relations event at the Billings Montana Family YMCA as part of Navy Week Montana, Aug. 15. (Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class James Vazquez)

“We were really excited when we heard the Navy would be paying us a visit,” said Kim Kaiser, the CEO of the Billings Montana Family YMCA. “I think it is fair to say the kids truly enjoyed interacting with the Sailors, especially getting an opportunity to swim with them.”

As part of the event, Sailors assigned to EODMU 3 administered swimming lessons for more than 200 area children during the two-day visit. The Sailors taught the children proper technique, different swim strokes and how to perform a proper “canon ball.”

While EOD Sailors continued to conduct swimming lessons, Sailors assigned to the U.S. Navy Ceremonial Guard Drill Team had the opportunity to perform for more than 300 children.

”My kids loved seeing the presentation and said all the ‘tricks’ that were performed were great, “said Heather Mosser, whose children were present at the YMCA. “They were talking about all the presentations and called it a very cool experience to meet the Sailors.”

Builder 1st Class William Anderson, left, assigned to the Naval Construction Training Center, speaks with Jon Arneson, host of the radio show “Voices of Montana,” during Navy Week Montana 2017. (Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class James Vazquez)

Seabees assigned to NCTC and NCG 2 also answered questions and talked about their experience in the Navy with the kids.

“It means a lot to get to show Montana what we do in the Navy,” said Builder 1st Class William Anderson, assigned to NCTC and a native of Deer Lodge, Montana. “It’s important to speak about our capabilities, our versatility and the places we get to go while serving in the Navy.”

Kaiser hopes that the children learned a lot from the Sailors’ visit.

“I think it’s important that our kids get an opportunity to interact with various groups of people and that is something we strive to do here at the ‘Y’,” said Kaiser. “It is always exciting to have organizations like the Navy interact with our kids and leave a lasting impression.”

Montana Navy week began Aug. 13 and concludes Aug. 20, taking place in Billings, Bozeman and Helena.

Navy Week programs serve as the principal outreach effort into areas of the country without a significant Navy presence, helping Americans understand that their Navy is deployed around the world, around the clock, ready to defend America at all times.

Sailors assigned to the U.S. Navy Ceremonial Guard Drill Team perform at the Montana Fair during Navy Week Montana Aug. 15. (Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class James Vazquez)

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