Children play Marine during Junior Warrior Day
CAMP FOSTER, OKINAWA, Japan -- Children’s laughter fills the air as they move between stations that showcase the daily tasks associated with being a Marine. Filled with curiosity, they get an up-close look at what it means to be a Marine.
Marines with Combat Logistics Battalion 4 hosted their third annual Junior Warrior Day April 4 at the parade deck on Camp Foster.
“We wanted to show our families what we do in the battalion,” said Staff Sgt. Nicholas V. Cantu, a motor transport operations chief with CLB-4, Combat Logistics Regiment 3, 3rd Marine Logistics Group, III Marine Expeditionary Force. “Our children see Marines every day, but don’t interact with them much, outside of their own family. Doing this shows them what we’re all about.”
The event was held in April, which is designated the Month of the Military Child by the Department of Defense.
“We wanted an event that was focused on the children,” said Cherie Holt, the family readiness officer with the battalion. “Military spouses have the Jane Wayne events, so we have Junior Warrior Day for our battalion.”
The event included a Marine Corps Martial Arts Program exhibition, mock combat fitness test, static weapons and vehicles displays, camouflage-face painting and a military working dog capabilities demonstration.
“The battalion becomes one big family,” said Holt. “Events like this help secure that relationship by giving the Marines and families time to meet and socialize. Also, their children have the opportunity to make new friends at the same time.” For spouses, the event provided the perfect opportunity to build friendships between families, according to Teka L. Brown, the spouse of Cpl. Kyle R. Brown, a motor vehicle operator with the battalion.
“These are the times we get the chance to meet other spouses and make friends,” said Brown. “When our husbands are deployed, our friends become like family to us.”
When the event ended, families left confident their children gained a better understanding of the jobs their parents do, according to Brown.
“It’s always fun to let the children experience what their parents do,” said Brown. “I had a wonderful time and I look forward to it happening again next year.”