Marine Corps Air Station New River, N.C. --
Marines often wake up to go to work before the sun rises and get home after the sun sets. Many Marines are away from their families because they are engaged in a training exercise or are deployed overseas.
Marines understand their commitment and dedication to the Marine Corps can keep them physically separated from their families because they serve as a force in readiness. Although Marines may understand their commitment, their children may not. To help give children a broader perspective of what their parents do as Marines, Marine Corps Air Station New River Children, Youth and Teen Center celebrated Month of the Military Child at the Child Development Center with a block party for all the children who have a parent stationed aboard the air station, April 13.
To help service members’ children understand what they do at work and give them some time with their parents, the CYT program had military vehicles on display and games they could play, said Christy Shupe, CYT program assistant director.
The Marines of Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting came out with a P-19 fire truck and two Marines to show off the gear and equipment they use in the event of an emergency.
They gave parents and their children the opportunity to try on the suit and see how it felt to walk around as an ARFF Marine.
School of Infantry-East also displayed a Humvee and a 7-ton truck to show off the vehicles some service members drive while at work, said Shupe.
“We are having an awesome time out here,” said Cpl. Christopher King, Marine Wing Support Squadron 272 motor vehicle operator.
His daughter ran around and enjoyed the hot dogs and bounce houses at the CDC.
“My favorite part was the long jump they have,” said Dianna Cole, King’s mother-in-law.
The child would jump as far as they could and depending on how far they would land, they would earn pieces of candy.
Marines from camp guard aboard Camp Geiger helped with running the games and booths, like bowling, miniature golf and face painting.
Over all, more than 120 families enjoyed the afternoon at the event, said Shupe.
Former Secretary of defense Caspar Weinberger designated April as the Month of the Military Child in 1986 as a way to recognize the sacrifices and obstacles unique to the children of service members.