Sailors from Navy Medicine Training Support Center (NMTSC) and Naval Health Care Clinic Corpus Christi San Antonio Detachment (NHCCC SA) volunteered several hours of their Sunday morning to paint over graffiti at a local park April 19 as part of Fiesta San Antonio.
Master-at-Arms 2nd Class Haydee Perez and Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Meagan Morris, both staff members at NMTSC, planned and organized the event with mostly student volunteers from the Medical Education and Training Campus (METC). NMTSC provides administrative and operational control over Navy staff and students assigned to METC and other medical education and training programs in the San Antonio area.
"The graffiti wipeout was on the Fiesta calendar last year but wasn't this year, so I decided to organize one," said Perez. "I really wanted to get it back on there so we can get involved in the community somehow, especially for the students."
Morris agreed the opportunity was a great way for their students to get out of the barracks and off base to do something good.
"A lot of the Fiesta events happen during the week while students are in class, so this gave them the opportunity to get involved," Morris said.
The coordinators for the event were led by Chief Hospital Corpsman Amanda Derequito, who recently checked into NMTSC and had looked forward to the event as a way to get to know the Sailors while helping to establish a Navy presence in San Antonio.
"It's really good to get out and project a positive image," said Derequito, "especially since the Navy hasn't had a large presence in San Antonio for very long. This lets people know we are here to help."
The volunteers painted over graffiti, and fading or chipping paint on a guardrail along a walking trail at Medina Base Park. After painting, they walked along the side to pick up any trash.
"I'm glad I could come," said Hospital Apprentice Karina Maldonado, who recently graduated from Basic Medical Technician Corpsman Program. "I love volunteering and used to do it a lot back home. I just feel like I can do a lot for people right now since I'm still young and I have the time on my hands."
Fiesta San Antonio is the nation's third largest festival of its type behind Mardi Gras and the Rose Festival where more than 3 million people participate in more than 100 events in the San Antonio area.
For more news from Navy Medicine Education and Training Command, visit www.navy.mil/