Sailors of all ranks volunteer at Patriots Point for Day of Caring

Sailors paint decommissioned ships at Patriots Point during Trident United Way's Day of Caring. (WCIV)

Sailors from the Naval Nuclear Power Training Unit (NPTU) at Joint Base Charleston volunteered all over Charleston Friday. It was all part for Trident United Way’s Day of Caring.

Three thousand volunteered across the city, and 400 of them were at the Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum.

Naval officers and enlisted sailors put in a cumulative 11,000 man hours across the Charleston area, according to the event's organizer, Petty Officer Will Smith.

"Our core values are honor, courage and commitment. And for this we get to honor our previous sailors at the ship that they served on," said Smith.

For Smith it's not just about getting out of the classroom, which is where he spends most of his time teaching new sailors.

He says he also enjoys the camaraderie this day brings.

"We get to come together, and work together no matter what our rank is... we're all wearing the same green shirt today," said Smith.

Sailors at Patriots Point worked on more than a dozen projects. Their bright green shirts dotted the landscape and could be seen on all three warships, the Vietnam Experience, and across the grounds on the museum’s property.

Sailors picked up trash, cleaned the pier, dusted retired aircraft and painted the USS Yorktown.

Without the help of these 400 volunteers and their combined 1,600 hours of service Chris Hauff, says many of the necessary improvements to the museum wouldn't be possible. Hauff is the Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum Public Information Officer.

"They're really like worker bees. Everyone is doing things for the good of the entire museum," said Hauff.

Volunteers seemed to enjoy stepping in the footsteps of their previous sailors. You could hear them singing "Anchors away" while painting.

"It's a day we look forward to all year," said Hauff. "It means so much."

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