Recife, Brazil, Nov 20, 2018.- Sailors assigned to the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Ramage (DDG 61) participated in a community relations (COMREL) project in the Brasilia Teimosa area of Recife, Brazil, Nov. 17.
Ramage Sailors assisted the non-profit organization Love Futbol, which partners with underprivileged communities to develop soccer spaces, in the cleanup and inauguration of a new soccer court. Ramage also donated equipment to clean up and maintain the soccer court, along with soccer balls and volleyballs.
Mano Silva, the chief operations officer of Love Futbol, appreciated the support that was provided by the Sailors during the cleanup efforts.
“It’s just wonderful and amazing that we are all able to be here together,” said Silva. “With the help of the volunteers, we are finally able to make a lasting legacy in the community.”
However, the impact of the COMREL was also felt with the Sailors who volunteered.
“It was great volunteering”, said Damage Controlman 2nd class Andrew ValdezJohnston. “It’s crazy how a simple ball and a court can change a life.”
The COMREL project allowed Brazilians and Ramage Sailors the opportunity to connect with each other.
“This event provided Ramage Sailors with an excellence opportunity to work together with our Brazilian partners in a way that benefited both nations,” said Lt. Brian Allen. “It provided an opportunity to coordinate the Sailors of Ramage with their Brazilian counterparts and foster stronger ties with our two nations.”
Love Futbol partnered with Driblando do Crack, a local sports alternative program for youth in the Brasilia Teimosa area in Recife, to build the court. Currently there are approximately 150 youth that participate in the program.
Ramage is currently deployed to the U.S. 4th Fleet area of operations in support of U.S. Southern Command’s (USSOUTHCOM) Enduring Promise Initiative. This initiative reaffirms USSOUTHCOM’s longstanding commitment to the nations of the Western Hemisphere by conducting a series of operations, activities and events to increase partner nation capacity and build interoperability. USSOUTHCOM’s engagement in the region reflects the United States’ enduring promise of friendship and solidarity with the Americas. We are united in our shared responsibility as defenders of the Inter-American values of human rights, freedom, and respect for the rule of law and commitment to peace.