Children spend day in father's boots
Camp Schwab, Okinawa, Japan -- The children are part of the team and getting them to where they feel involved and can see what their dads do every day is important,” said Sgt. Maj. John D. Calhoun, the sergeant major of 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion. “The event helps them appreciate their dad’s work and shows our appreciation for them.”
The children of Marines and sailors with 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force, units experienced aspects of their father’s work during the second annual “Do What Daddy Does” day June 14 at Oura Wan Beach on Camp Schwab.
The day included static displays of vehicles and equipment in addition to educational stations, food and a combat rubber raiding craft ride for the families.
“The boats might be one of the bigger draws for the children, but they enjoyed the entire event,” said Calhoun, whose two children attended the event.
“Getting the children involved to where they feel like they are part of the team helps out tremendously. It makes the home team even more successful.”
The event was scheduled for the first day following the summer release of Department of Defense Education Activity Schools, in order to allow the maximum number of participants.
“We wanted to bring them up on a typical work day and give them a feel for what kind of things their dads do,” said Brandi Beck, the 3rd Recon. Bn. family readiness officer. “Today is the first day of school being out, so the Do What Daddy Does day event is really an opportunity for the children to participate at work with their dad.”
The children were placed into platoons and given orders to report to events in keeping with the theme of the day.
Each child had a different favorite, varying from the metal detector course, CRRC ride or the vehicle and equipment displays. Assault amphibious vehicles, light armored vehicles, mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicles, heavy equipment, parachute operations equipment and diving equipment were all displayed during the event.
“The metal detector was my favorite,” said 7-year-old Miles Edmonson, referring to an event that taught the children how to use metal detectors and tested their skills by finding objects buried in the sand. “I was pretty good at it. I liked the boat too, I got splashed.”
The static vehicle displays and equipment were also a crowd favorite.
“The static displays are great,” said Beck. “You can see the kids climbing on top of the vehicles and going inside, getting their hands on the equipment, and asking questions. This event is really a great opportunity to do that.”
The units have received positive feedback from the families and children and intend to continue hosting the event annually, according to Beck.
“We don’t often realize how patriotic our kids are,” said Gunnery Sgt. Sheila C. Calhoun, the S-4, supply and logistics chief with Headquarters Company, 3rd Intelligence Bn., III MEF Headquarters Group, III MEF. “When my husband was in Afghanistan my daughter said, ‘I wish he never went.’ Then she sat and thought about it for a few minutes and said, ‘No, he had to go to protect our freedoms and our country.’ She was 4-years-old at the time.
“It is important for them to get out and see this kind of stuff because this makes it more real for them,” added Calhoun.