A new group of Project HOPE volunteers prepare themselves for their first humanitarian aid mission aboard the USNS Mercy as it sails toward the first mission country of Indonesia.
Dr. Robert Baxt, a surgeon from Reisterstown, Maryland will be volunteering for Project HOPE and will be aboard the USNS Mercy for the entire four and a half month mission.
“I am looking forward to helping out in some of the developing areas in the countries that we are going to that do not have access to proper medical care,” says Dr. Baxt. “I have wanted to go on a HOPE mission since the formation of the organization, and now that my children have grown up I am finally able to participate.”
Cortney Marsh, a registered nurse and first-time Project HOPE volunteer from San Diego, California has wanted to do a humanitarian aid mission her whole life. She saved up vacation time to help out Pacific Partnership.
"I am looking forward to learning from and helping the other non-government organizations aboard and working with the various branches of the military," says Marsh.
Dr. Sam Hunt, a family practice physician from Mason City, Iowa, is also a first-time HOPE volunteer. Dr. Hunt became interested in volunteering for Project HOPE after talking with a friend from his hometown who served the SS HOPE. With the years of talking to his friend about the experience with Project HOPE when the opportunity arose he jumped on it.
"I had just retired about six weeks ago,” says Dr. Hunt. “With the years of listening to my friend talk about the experience with Project HOPE, when the opportunity arose to help out other people in the world, I jumped on it.”
Julie Porucznik, a registered surgical nurse from San Diego California is excited about her journey. “I am looking forward to learning how the military handles health care,” she says. “I also feel this mission will put me in contact with the right people to help reach my career goals, all while I am able to help people in Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam and Cambodia.”
As the Mercy sets sail out of Guam and into the sunset in the west, all the Project HOPE volunteers are eager to get to work and start helping those in need.
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