MANAMA, Bahrain --
Sailors assigned to U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) participated in a community relations (COMREL) event at the American Mission Hospital in Manama, Bahrain, September 29.
More than 10 Sailors assisted with the hospital’s inaugural Children’s Day helping provide basic medical advice for low-income families and interacting with local children.
Chief Religious Programs Specialist Christopher Johnson, a NAVCENT chaplain’s office liaison, explained COMRELs are an investment in the local community and Sailors.
“Abraham Lincoln once said: ‘Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power,” said Johnson. “That’s what COMRELs are all about. When we get out into the community, we’re empowering ourselves to do some good for our fellow man, which is good for our character, and good for the soul as well.”
Culinary Specialist 1st Class Chasity Eastland also enjoyed the unique opportunity to experience local culture while doing something positive for the community.
“It’s important for the Bahrain community to know that we appreciate them as a host nation,” said Eastland. “The best way to show that appreciation is to give back any chance that we can.”
The American Mission Hospital is a private non-profit hospital; the first modern hospital to be founded in Bahrain. The facility, originally known as the Mason Memorial Hospital, was opened on January 26, 1903 and housed 24 beds. The hospital was renovated and expanded in the 1980s, and opened two branch clinics in 2000 and 2014, respectively.
U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations encompasses about 2.5 million square miles of water area and includes the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Red Sea and parts of the Indian Ocean. The expanse is comprised of 20 countries and includes three critical choke points at the Strait of Hormuz, the Suez Canal and the Strait of Bab al Mandeb at the southern tip of Yemen.
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