Marine Corps Community Services South Carolina hosted a Mini Marines program aboard Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, March 3.
The event was organized by MCCS’s Lifestyle Insights, Networking, Knowledge, and Skills program to build camaraderie and promote a family atmosphere for the children of Marines aboard MCAS Beaufort.
L.I.N.K.S is a program that helps service member and their families adjust to the Marine Corps lifestyle and the local installation. L.I.N.K.S. is offered as both installation and unit training to Marines, Sailors and families.
“My mission is to havemilitary families understand how important theyare to America,”
said Roxanne Farr, the volunteer
coordinator for L.I.N.K.S.
“Without them we realizefreedom isn’t free and theyare the ones paying theultimate price for our freedom.”
Mini-Marines is an event held by MCCS. The children were sworn in on yellow footprints by drill instructors and then split into different platoons and given different colored handkerchiefs to identify their group. Each platoon was led by Marine volunteers who guided the Mini Marines through the different activities.
“This is the most fun Ihave ever had volunteeringat an event,”
said Cpl. Lindsay Collins, the S-4 Chief for Marine All Weather Fighter Attack Squadron 224.
“It’s just really great seeing families come outtogether and celebrate the Marine Corps lifestyle with their kids and show them whatwe are all about.”
Dozens of volunteers with both the Marine Corps and MCCS arrived at 7 a.m. to prepare all of the stations for an 8:30 a.m. start. The event had a toy rifle range, mock PFT course, Marine Corps Martial Arts lessons, a military working dog display by the Provost Marshal’s Office, and an exhibit by Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting. Towards the end of the event the platoon leaders gave the Mini Marine their own dog tags to commemorate the event. The Marine volunteers also received letters of appreciation for their work.
“I originally just came out here to volunteerwith some friends and help out the Mini Marinesprogram,”
said Lance Cpl. Christopher Ivaliotes, an Airframe Mechanic with Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 501.
“I think this was a really great opportunity tocome out and give back to not only the MarineCorps but also the families who make itgreat.”