USS Lake Champlain and Mexican Marines Soccer Teams April 2015
Puerto Vallarta was honored to welcome the USS Lake Champlain, a US Navy Guided Missile Cruiser, to its waters last week.
They were here mainly to deliver much needed medical supplies, as a goodwill gesture from Northcom of the U.S. Government.
The Lake Champlain is home ported in San Diego, and was making its first ever visit to Puerto Vallarta, though over the years Puerto Vallarta has hosted more than 150 other U.S. Navy/Coast Guard ships. Each visit has included Community Relations initiatives, ranging from the painting of schools and other public and charitable facilities, to the delivery of donated equipment and supplies. All coordinated by the local Navy League and the U.S. Consular Agency.
The USS Lake Champlain is a 567 ft. long, 10,000 ton warship. The crew numbers 365, both men and women. In fact the executive Officer, the 2nd in command, is a female full Commander. You likely saw the ship's impressive profile while anchored in the Bay off Marina Vallarta.
The donated medical supplies included wheelchairs, walkers, crutches, canes and other medical goods. Recipient organizations included the Red Cross, Regional Hospital, General Hospital in Nayarit, Naval Hospital, DIVAC, and Visually Disabled de la Bahia. The goods were officially turned over at a public reception held at the Paradise Village Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta.
In addition to delivering donated medical supplies, the crew of the Lake Champlain enjoyed leisure time in our beautiful city, attended a reception at Murphy's Irish Pub hosted by the Navy League, played a soccer match against the Mexican Navy (won by the Mexican team in a close match), and hosted an exciting ship tour for more than 50 members of the Navy League and American Legion.
If you'd like to participate in future ship visits, we encourage you to join the Navy League and/or American Legion. Both organizations have no requirement for previous military service, accept members from all nationalities, male or female. Annual membership costs are nominal, and you'll enjoy not only the hosting of visiting ships and mariners, but active social programs and opportunities to assist the local community through programs such as the popular Toys for Tots over the Christmas holidays.
For more info, contact Jerry Lafferty of the Navy League at firstname.lastname@example.org or Dennis Rike of the American Legion at email@example.com.
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