Logistics Marines inspire during Junior Warrior Day
CAMP KINSER, OKINAWA, Japan -- Cheers erupt from the audience as students close in on the finish line, victory only seconds away.
The Marines of 3rd Maintenance Battalion, Combat Logistics Regiment 35, volunteered May 2 during a Junior Warrior Day with the fifth-grade classes of Kinser Elementary School on Camp Kinser.
During the event, the students learned about some daily tasks their military parents complete by participating in a modified combat fitness test, building a tent, setting up radio communications, applying first aid and executing basic techniques from the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program.
The event showed the students what their parents experience while also building teamwork, according to Staff Sgt. Tracie M. Mahan, a machinist with 3rd Maint. Bn., CLR-35, 3rd Marine Logistics Group, III Marine Expeditionary Force.
“We provided the children of Kinser Elementary School an opportunity to participate in similar training with us while building their teamwork skills outside of a (classroom setting),” said Mahan.
The Marines enjoyed playing with the children in addition to the break from their daily routines, according to Lance Cpl. Richard Huynh, a field radio operator with CLR-37, 3rd MLG, III MEF.
“It’s good to get away from our jobs and have fun now and then,” said Huynh, a Stockton, Calif., native. “A lot of us have siblings back home, and having the chance to hang out and have fun with the children here reminds us of it. For a little while we feel like we’re with family again.”
The students gained a new appreciation for their parents’ work and enjoyed the chance to compete against each other, according to Shannon Mahan, a ten-year-old student at the school.
“I really liked working with the others in the teams,” said Shannon. “I didn’t know mom did this kind of stuff, and now I think her job is awesome.”
At the end of the event, each of the three fifth-grade classes in the school chose five students to compete in a final heat of the modified CFT for a chance to win the battalion trophy. After a close competition, the class under the tutelage of Sandra Slowinski came out victorious.
“I’m hoping to make this a yearly event,” said Mahan. “With the success we had this year, I can’t wait to come back and do it all again.”