MANGILAO, Guam- Personnel from USNS Matthew Perry (T-AKE 9) volunteered at the Guam Department of Youth Affairs (DYA) facility in Mangilao, Guam, Jan. 18.

The Sailors spent the day whacking weeds and mowing lawns alongside DYA clients. The youths were excited to see the Sailors, and the Sailors were eager to offer a helping hand.

“We are just doing some yard work and mentoring the youths, telling them what the Navy has done for us and trying to give them some positive reinforcement,” said Chief Logistic Specialist (AW) Vanessa Campbell. “It is very important not just here but also in the community to know the Navy is not just about doing a job, but also that we care about everyone we meet and every place we go.”

After the cleanup, the Sailors teamed up with the youth in some games of volleyball and ended the day with dinner provided by the facility.

DYA leadership said the alliance was beneficial for the children who are incarcerated and isolated from the rest of society.

“This is very important,” said George Guerrero, officer in charge at the facility. “It gives them a positive aspect in life. I think the kids will appreciate someone coming out here and sharing their time while the kids are locked up.”

Adonis Mendiola, DYA director, also felt the event was a positive influence in the young clients’ lives.

"This event will help the children at DYA realize that many people care about them and their future," she said. "The day's activities will also teach the kids teamwork and that people are rewarded for an honest day of work. I would like to thank the personnel of Matthew Perry for spending time with our kids, and I encourage the community to do the same."

Matthew Perry is a Military Sealift Command dry cargo/ammunition ship. Its primary mission is to provide logistic lift to deliver cargo, ammunition, food, fuel, repair parts, ship store items, and other materials to U.S. and allied Navy ships at sea. The ship is designed to operate independently for extended periods at sea and can carry and support two helicopters to conduct vertical replenishment.