Sailors Volunteer Time To Help Pass Christian Residents

Sounds of progress filled the air on Stennis Street in Pass Christian.

That's where 15 sailors from the USS John C. Stennis helped to clean up the area where Ken Tine's home used to stand.

"Made you sick. You really didn't expect any of this. I been through Camille and it was nothing like this. But the more I see, the more it's sad. It's just really sad," said Tine.

Tine and his wife lost nearly everything to Hurricane Katrina, but this group is not only helping to clear the debris, they are trying to find some of the things the Tines treasured most, and luckily they're having quite a bit of luck.

"They're overjoyed for the littlest things and you can see in their faces and that's why we do it," said sailor Robert Smith.

These 15 sailors are part of a group of about 53 down here in South Mississippi, volunteering their times and services at no cost to the Navy.

For about 2 weeks, these sailors will work on projects ranging from debris removal to helping to rebuild nursing homes.

Their motto on the USS Stennis is "look ahead", and that's exactly what they're helping South Mississippi to do."

And helping South Mississippians clean up to make way for the future is personal for sailor Robert Smith, the only member of this group who calls South Mississippi home.

"All my family is down here, I have brothers, sisters, everybody lost everything. This is where I aim to retire too, so I got to help out. I mean everybody down here is my family you know, so I have to help out," said Smith.

"These guys, I mean they come down and they didn't know any of us, and they just come down here and dug right in and it is no telling what I would have done without them. I tell you that right now," said Tine.

The group of sailors from the USS Stennis has been here since last Saturday and will be here in South Mississippi for another week.

They plan to simply help out wherever they are needed.