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22 May 2001 | GySgt. Mike Dougherty 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit

Marines and Sailors of the 24th MEU (SOC) and USS Kearsarge participated in three community outreach projects while on a port visit on the island of Palma de Mallorca, Spain, giving freely of themselves and their liberty time for the benefit of others.

The first was called Project Hombre, and it took the MEU warriors to an adult drug rehabilitation facility where they painted a basketball court, removed and cut up steel light posts, broke up pallets into firewood, installed fence posts and painted the interior. The team of 30 Marines and Sailors worked together and accomplished this with time to spare. 

Meanwhile, another group participated in Project Handclasp, where they visited a homeless shelter for elderly citizens as well as a home for battered wives and children.  Joined by members of the first group, they brought with them two pallets of toys, medicinal supplies and health and comfort items.  The items were collected in the U.S. and shipped aboard the USS Kearsarge for this humanitarian effort.  

Participants felt it was well worth their efforts. "This is a great opportunity to leave something behind for others - it's not asking much to take one day out of our [four day] liberty port visit to help someone less fortunate than ourselves," said SSgt. Christopher LaRue, a Motor Transport Chief from Lewisberry, Pa.

Follow the 24th MEU (SOC) deployment on their website at