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Sailors Give Back To Santa Barbara Community During USS Ronald Reagan Visit

By Alys Martinez, KEYT - KCOY - KKFX Producer/Reporter, amartinez@keyt.com
Published On: May 31 2014 08:39:12 PM CDT
Updated On: Jun 01 2014 09:14:32 PM CDT

Sailors from the U.S.S. Ronald Reagan took time off from their shore leave to help Habitat for Humanity

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -

The crew from the USS Ronald Reagan is spending time volunteering during their trip to Santa Barbara.

Nearly a dozen men and women from the ship helped build affordable homes for Habitat for Humanity of Southern Santa Barbara County on Saturday.

The sailors had plenty of other ways to spend their free time. But, they chose to pick up some tools and get their hands dirty instead.  Intelligence Specialist John Scarbrough said, "Sailors do like to have a good time.  But a majority of us like to give back to a community that is so welcoming to us."

The volunteers brought their highly specialized skill sets to the construction site on the 800 block of Canon Perdido.  Scarbrough said, "We have air traffic controllers, parachute rescue men, technicians, and logistic specialists. All of us came together to make something happen today."

Habitat for Humanity Crew Leader Stafford Taylor says it's rare to have volunteers with so much experience on site. Taylor said, "We get people who have never picked up a paintbrush before. But, a lot of these people are pretty skilled. It's a task just keeping them busy."

The crew says they want to see all that Santa Barbara has to offer. But, the sailors also want to leave their mark on a community that has welcomed them with open arms. Jeshauna Lewis is an air traffic controller on the USS Ronald Reagan and wants to thank the Santa Barbara community. Lewis said, "Thank you for having us here and for being so thrilled that we are here. We really appreciate it and we're glad to give back."

Sailors from the USS Ronald Reagan are not only helping to build affordable homes in Santa Barbara. They are also feeding the homeless at the Santa Barbara Rescue Mission and cleaning up local beaches and highways.

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