News: Marines get unique opportunity to bond with their children
Story by Cpl. Ned Johnson
CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. - School children across California started their day with writing, reading and arithmetic like they do every day.
But near the beach on Camp Pendleton, one group of children began their day with Marine Corps physical fitness and a Meal, Ready-to-Eat.
Marines with 3rd Assault Amphibian Battalion hosted "Bring Your Child to Work Day" at Del Mar, March 9.
“The intent today was that the kids would get to see what their fathers do,” said Lt. Cmdr. Michael Foskett, battalion chaplain for 3rd AA Bn. “We started with some physical training this morning and moved on to different stations.”
Those stations included a Marine Corps martial arts lesson, weapons display, and welding demonstration. Each station gave the Marines an opportunity to interact with the children as well.
“A number of the stations we had, encouraged the Marines and sailors to work directly with the children, and having the children participate in some of the activities right next to their dad,” said Lt. Col. Howard Hall, battalion commander of 3rd AA Bn. “So we built what I hope to be lasting positive memories of what Dad does for work.”
The children also received a class on night vision goggles, amphibious assault vehicles, and first aid, but the event climaxed with the Marines demonstrating an amphibious assault in the Del Mar jetty.
Hall, a native of Schuylkill Haven, Pa., said that the event also benefited Marines and sailors without children as they were able to display their job skills with pride.
The event was about more than just weapons and demonstrations.
“It’s been special for me because I am deploying next month,” said Gunnery Sgt. Matthew Lockwood, a platoon sergeant with 3rd AA Bn. “I actually get to spend a lot of time with my kids at work and not at the house and they get a big appreciation for what Daddy does.”
The day meant a lot to the children as well.
Jayden Orrante said she was proud of her dad, Staff Sgt. Ernie Orrante, a platoon sergeant with 3rd AA Bn.
“I saw a number of huge smiles at the end of the day,” said Hall. “Seeing the kids beaming with joy and a little bit of pride … being proud of what their dad does, that’s what made today a success.”