USS Arlington hosts Ukraine youth while in port call

Last month, twenty-seven children of Ukrainian soldiers spent a week aboard the USS Arlington, being treated “like rock stars” in the words of Captain Eric Kellum, reports Petty Officer 1st Class John Bellino for

The ship’s crew organized the event in 48 hours. Crewmember Ensign Vladimir Stadnik, Ukrainian by birth, acted as guide to the children. One of the children’s chaperons told Ensign Stadnik that being on the ship was the first time they had seen the children smile in days.

“Throughout this deployment, the Arlington has traveled over 20,000 miles, visited three continents and participated in five large-scale multinational NATO and partner nation exercises,” said U.S. Navy Capt. Eric Kellum, commanding officer of the Arlington. “But hosting these children, helping to bring them joy and making them feel safe is the most memorable and purposeful experience we’ve had on this deployment.”

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