When Project HOPE volunteer Nurse Danielle Pech Carson returned to Cambodia, her birthplace, for the first time in 33-years, she was able to bring some of her family members back to the USNS Mercy to show them what she does. A U.S. Navy captain showed them around.
"I felt that I was sharing with them what I truly do. A part of my life is my nursing career, and it was great to share with them what it is all about," said Carson.
Pech was grateful to be able to introduce her family to the people she works with and the friends she has made. She was proud to show them how the United States is reaching out to other nations and what a generous and caring country it is.
Pech’s mother had never seen anything like this and neither had her cousins. They felt so lucky to have seen the ship. Carson herself had never seen the radiology rooms aboard the ship and was very impressed with the sophistication of the equipment.
Pech said that she was in awe of everything the ship has. She thinks the logistics that the U.S. Navy has put into the mission to make it run smoothly are just amazing.
"I am so grateful to have this opportunity and to see everyone come together with the same goals. It helps me take a look at the bigger picture in life and let go of the small things," Carson said.
"It gives me hope. It is the most meaningful thing a person could experience in her life."
Barbara Maxwell, another Project HOPE volunteer, watched the events unfold during the day.
“It was surprising for them to see the vastness of the Mercy,” Maxwell said. “They really enjoyed the tour and meeting everyone on the ship. They were impressed that Pech is part of this huge mission."
She went on to say, "I feel really lucky to be a part of the whole experience. The fact that I am needed and that I am here shows all of the important things going on aboard the Mercy."
Maxwell said that being a part of Pacific Partnership 2012 has really been an incredible experience.
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