SAN FRANCISCO - Marine vehicles and medical tents were on display for the public at Marina Green in San Francisco for Fleet Week Oct. 8.
Marines and Navy corpsmen set up exhibits to showcase skills and abilities the Marine Corps has to offer in regards to humanitarian aid and disaster response.
It was a chance for Marines to interact with the people of San Francisco and answer any questions.
“Basically, we are showing the public what we can bring to the table for humanitarian efforts,” said Cpl. Alfonso Morales, a hygiene equipment operator with Engineer Support Battalion. “We also can explain what we do when deployed and how everything works and is set up.”
Morales worked with two of his junior Marines at an exhibit showcasing how Marines can purify San Francisco’s bay water into drinkable water.
“People have been very surprised that we can actually purify ocean water,” said Morales.
Morales’ exhibit isn’t just for show. He allowed people passing by to drink some freshly purified water.
Morales also explained how the Marines can help the city in the case of a natural disaster.
“If something were to happen here at San Francisco, we can come to their aid and purify their water,” said Morales. “Say an earthquake happened and busted all their pipes underneath, there would be no way for them to get fresh water.”
The same water purifying system was used after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and earlier this year in Japan.
Morales and his Marines weren’t the only display for people to see. Navy corpsmen set up a medical tent for the general public to walk through.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Christopher McIntyre, a hospital corpsman and surgical technician with 1st Medical Battalion, said he helped set up the medical tent as part of shock trauma platoon.
The corpsmen’s focus was not on Afghanistan or Iraq, but instead on a scenario much closer to home.
“We are showing what we could do in case of a natural disaster and how we could help the city of San Francisco,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Eugene Lewis, a hospital corpsman with 1st Medical Battalion. “I think it’s important to show the public what we are doing, not just in Iraq or Afghanistan, but what we are doing to help with natural disasters.”
The displays full of Marines and sailors on Marina Green will be packed up Monday.
“I hope that the public understands that we are out there really trying to make a difference. The way we train and the way we do things saves lives,” said Lewis.