The holiday season is here, with festivities such as Christmas shopping, celebrations, concerts and family gatherings. Marines and Sailors aboard Marine Corps Air
Station Beaufort are getting ready for the most wonderful time of the year.

During the holiday season, MCAS Beaufort will partake in several events celebrating the season ranging from a Jingle Bell 5k, a Christmas parade and tree lighting on
Laurel Bay as well as the annual Senior Tea. The Senior Tea is put together to honor and give back to the Beaufort area senior citizen community. The MCAS Beaufort Spouses Club organizes the event with the help of Marine volunteers from the air station.

The Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island Band participates in the annual Christmas parade on Dec. 2, 2017 in downtown Beaufort. The band played traditional Christmas
music during the parade to celebrate the coming of the holiday season. The Tri-command particpates in the event as a way to foster cohesion with the local community.

“The holidays are great time to give back to the community at large,” said Lance Cpl. Ashanti Washington, a graphic design Marine with Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron and an escort for the upcoming Senior Tea. “This event is the greatest example of that in my opinion. If it was not for the support of our local community we wouldn’t be able to operate as effectively as we are able to now.”

The Marine Corps is known for many things throughout history, from the raising of the flag on Iwo Jima to John Glenn orbiting the Earth. But this time of the year, the Marine Corps is known for its trademark toy drive, “Toys for Tots”. Maj. Bill Hendricks founded the charitable event in Los Angeles, California in 1947 at the suggestion of his wife Diane. 5,000 toys were collected and distributed to less fortunate children during a campaign before Christmas of that year and the rest has been history.
According to their website, the primary goal of Marine Toys for Tots is, through the gift of a new toy, help bring the joy of Christmas and send a message of hope to America’s less fortunate children. You can visit their website at www.toysfortots.org for more information.

One of the not so merry aspects of this time of the year is the fact that traveling during the holidays holds a higher risk of having an accident and Marine and Sailors are no exception. Driver fatigue, road terrain, weather conditions and more drivers on the road all add to the risk of having an accident during this time.
“Wherever you are this holiday season, we need you to be safe. Make smart decisions. Look out for each other,” wrote Gen. Robert Neller, the Commandant of the Marine Corps during his Holiday Safety message in 2017. “From the time you earned the title “Marine” you became part of a legacy. You are now contributing to that legacy and making it your own. Happy Holidays and Semper Fidelis.”