U.S. EMBASSY KOLONIA (Pohnpei, FSM) (December 28, 2007) — Children at Pohnpei State Hospital received an unexpected visit from six of Santa's Helpers on Christmas Eve Day this year. The jolly "elfs" came in the morning bringing presents to each young boy and girl admitted to the hospital's Surgical and Pediatric Wards. The new toys were collected and donated by the Crewmembers and Spouses of U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Sequoia and each was seasonally wrapped by the Pohnpei Veterans Association.
Santa's Helpers were led by Boatswains Mate Second Class Alfred Albert, USCG, of the Sequoia, his spouse Mrs. Julie Albert, FSM Veterans Association Commandant Sgt. Maj. Frank Semens, USA (Retired), Pohnpei Hospital Administrator Mr. Dwight Edward, Clinical Nursing Supervisor Mrs. Elise Rosario, and Nursing Shift Supervisor Mrs. Bernolina Hedson. The thirteen lucky children, ranging in age from 2 months to 12 years old, were all smiles as each youngster received a Christmas gift at his/her hospital bed. Attending family members proved just as excited and happy as their children.
Petty Officer Albert, a Pohnpeian FSM Citizen who has served in the Coast Guard for ten years, commented afterwards, "It was a great experience for me. I am really proud to be both a Coast Guardsman and a Pohnpeian. This event was a wonderful chance for us to bring some happiness to these kids in the hospital here at Christmas time." Hospital Administrator Edward remarked, "Our deep appreciation goes out to the United States Coast Guard and the U.S. Embassy for these kind gifts. I would also like to recognize and thank Pohnpei's own Coast Guard Petty Officer Alfred Albert for his gracious assistance in facilitating these donations. We hope these kinds of efforts can continue." Nurse Hedson added "On behalf of all the children and parents involved and the staff of the Pohnpei Hospital, we really appreciate these wonderful gifts received from the Coast Guard. This was the first time we have experienced this seasonal hospitality and it was so kind, especially for the young ones in our surgical and medical wards at this time of year."
Citizens of the FSM are eligible to serve in the United States Coast Guard under the U.S.-FSM Compact of Free Association. Interested individuals must first achieve a qualifying score on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test given each year, and meet other applicable U.S. Coast Guard recruitment eligibility requirements.
For further information contact the U.S. Embassy at (691) 320-2187 or firstname.lastname@example.org