Photo Information

U. S. Marine Corps Reserve Staff Sgt. Gonzalo Cano, a Food Service Specialist with 3rd Battalion, 24th Marines out of St. Louis Mo., visits with retired Marine Gunnery Sgt. Wayne Crawford at the Veterans Affairs Boston Health Care System, West Roxbury Campus in support of Marine Week Boston on May 4, 2010. Crawford, a Boston native, served from 1976-1997 as a Water Purification Specialist.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Natasha J. Combs

Marines restore water and spirits

4 May 2010 | Lance Cpl. Sean Palmer

Marines were more than grateful to talk with veterans and help restore the flow of uncontaminated water at the Veterans Affairs Boston Healthcare System, West Roxbury campus, in West Roxbury, Mass., as part of Marine Week Boston, May 4.

The Marines helped the veterans by visiting with them and by helping the West Roxbury campus fix their water contamination problem by going around the facility and draining every water faucet to flush out the contaminated water and restore drinking water throughout the hospital.

“When the Marines came this morning to visit with the veterans the staff here was so happy to recruit the help of the Marines to help solve the water problem at the West Roxbury campus,” said Diane Keefe, the West Roxbury campus Public Relations manager, who has worked with the Veterans Affairs Boston Healthcare system for 17 years.

Once the hospital was able to get their contaminated water situation under control the Marines were given the opportunity to meet with several veterans. The veterans were able to share stories with the Marines about their adventures when they served in the military.

“It was outstanding to have the Marines come here and help the hospital get uncontaminated water flowing once again,” said retired Marine Gunnery Sgt. Wayne Crawford, who served from 1976 to 1997. “We all share a common bond in the military of leaving no man behind and it’s great to see the Marines take time to help us with our problems here at the VA medical center.”

By helping fix the contaminated water problem at the campus, the Marines demonstrated the purpose of Marine Week Boston by building positive relationships with the people of Boston and showing the Corps’ commitment to helping the nation.

“Coming to the West Roxbury campus to help the veterans was a privilege to me and I was more than grateful to take time and clean out the water system for the veterans,” said Staff Sgt. Gonzalo Cano, a food service specialist with 3rd Battalion, 24th Marine Regiment, a reserve unit from St. Louis.

The staff and veterans showed their appreciation toward the work the Marines did during their visit and were able to receive clean uncontaminated water by the time the Marines left for the day.

“I think it’s great that the Marines are here in Boston giving something back to the community and it’s really motivating to see that as Marines we’re sharing our mission to the people of Boston,” said Lance Cpl. James Crosby, an aviation ordnance Marine, who suffered a spinal cord injury in Al Asad, Iraq while supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom in March 2004.

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Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps