SILVERDALE, Wash. – Sailors assigned to the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) took part in an ongoing cleanup effort and trail restoration project at One Heart Wild Education Sanctuary in Silverdale, Wash., Wednesday.
One Heart is a non-profit wildlife sanctuary that promotes human wellness, resiliency and environmental stewardship through human- animal companionship. It also provides veterans assistance through equine assisted therapy, a treatment involving horses and other animals used for people who suffer from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other mental conditions.
Nimitz Sailors provided landscaping assistance and continued an ongoing trail restoration endeavor, which has been a monthly part of a continuing project between Nimitz Sailors and the sanctuary.
“Since we became a nonprofit organization last year, we depend on our volunteers in order to keep the animals safe,” said Brie Younger, the sanctuary’s manager. “Because of how big this place is, we are appreciative of all the help we can get.”
Although Nimitz is readying for underway, and free time is a luxury not often afforded to many service members, these Sailors plan to continue returning to the sanctuary to help out whenever possible.
“When we first started volunteering, the trail was non-existent,” said Air Traffic Controller Airman Maddi Setzer, a native of Jacksonville, Fla. “We’ve made a lot of progress with it, eventually it will be used so that the horses and riders will have a path through the woods to ride.”
Nimitz is currently undergoing an extended planned incremental maintenance availability at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility where the ship is receiving scheduled maintenance and upgrades.
For more news from Nimitz, visit http://www.nimitz.navy.mil.
Story and photos by MCSN Weston Mohr