Saturday, January 05, 2008

USS Reuben James Visits Malaysia

By Ensign Fallon Rossi, USS Reuben James Public Affairs

PENANG, Malaysia (NNS) -- USS Reuben James (FFG 57) entered port in Penang, Dec. 30, just in time for the crew to ring in the New Year.

Commanding Officer, Cmdr. Rich Haidvogel said, "We really enjoyed spending some time in Penang. This port visit presented a golden opportunity for us to enjoy some of the customs and traditions of Malaysia while enhancing our growing relationship for peace and prosperity."

Seaman Jason Seaton enjoyed spending the holiday in Malaysia, saying, "I got to check out the historical and cultural sites and eat some good food."

In addition to taking part in cultural activities and hosting special guests on board the ship, several Sailors volunteered to participate for a few community relations projects while in Penang.

Ensign Josh Lewis said he feels "a sense of accomplishment when volunteering time and energy in helping others. I like fostering a good image of the United States while being deployed abroad."

The volunteers helped to complete some yard work as well as arrange and clean a few storerooms at the Spastic Children Association, for children living with cerebral palsy, and the St. Nicholas Home, for blind children. Reuben James was also able to donate extra office supplies and books to the two homes.

The ships presence in Malaysia and other countries allows the U.S. Navy to strengthen ties in the 7th Fleet area of responsibility.