Seabees To Deliver Relief To Haitians - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

01/26/05

Seabees To Deliver Relief To Haitians

Help is on the way for thousands of Haitians. The U.S.S. Saipan left the Port of Pascagoula Wednesday afternoon loaded with equipment, supplies and more than 50 Gulfport Seabees.

Members of Naval Mobile Construction Battalion One will work in areas of Haiti ravaged by a hurricane. They are led by Commander Scott Hurst.

"This is kinda our bread and butter," said Hurst. "This is the type of stuff we do and do well. We're excited about it."

"We're basically going down to Haiti giving humanitarian assistance, building schools and drilling clean water wells for some much needed help in the town of Gunaeve, Haiti," said Lieutenant Jorge Contreras.

The Seabees say they'll drill three wells to provide the people of Gunaeve with clean drinking water. They'll also build three new schools.

"A lot of the schools they have there right now, they usually cram like a thousand students in just one or two schools," says Contreras. "This will alleviate some of that."

The Seabees enjoyed the few light moments before they boarded the ship. They know the days ahead will be filled with hard work, but they don't mind.

"First of all, you get to construct things so you have a nice end product, something you can see and hold on to. Then you see how it impacts the people," said Hurst. "Often times, we find ourselves in areas that are very poor and the impact is real."

"That's what the Seabees are all about," Lt. Contreras. "Seabees are about helping others and when you get the opportunity to do that it's an awesome feeling."

"Can do" is the Seabees motto. They call it one of the most rewarding jobs in the military.

The members of Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 1 will be in Haiti for at least two months.

by Josh Ridgdell

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