Sailors use Quad Cities Navy Week to better community

Local News

Cleaning up a forest and teaching kids about the navy were just some of the ways sailors helped to better the community during Quad Cities Navy Week.

Sailors cut down overgrown branches and leaves to provide more sunlight for plants in the Illiniwek Forest Preserve.

Devin Tedrow, first class petty officer, said he was getting a workout in.

“It makes you feel good and you can actually see the progress that you make,” Tedrow said.

Along with preserving the forest, sailors talked to kids at summer camp about skills that sailors had in 1813.

“I love teaching kids about the navy because I love the look in their eyes when they see our uniforms and our weapons and they hear us talk about our history and everything,” said William Comfort, active duty U.S. sailor.

The kids also got to interact with robots that are used to diffuse bombs.

“We basically demonstrate how the robots actually work,” said Chief Russell Vernooy. “The robots are used in order to basically save lives so we can keep the Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) technicians as far away from the device as we can.”

Vernooy hopes to inspire these kids in their futures.

“Maybe they decide to grow up and join one of the branches of the military later on,” he said. “Never underestimate the impact on a kid’s life in a minute.”

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