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    Service members spread the Valentine spirit

    Servicemembers spread the Valentine spirit

    Photo By Sgt. Paul Peterson | Lance Cpl. Matthew S. Hartlove, a Baltimore native and electrician with 2nd Supply...... read more read more

    JACKSONVILLE, NC, UNITED STATES

    02.14.2013

    Story by Lance Cpl. Devin Nichols 

    II Marine Expeditionary Force   

    JACKSONVILLE, N.C. - Soft, harmonious music filled the air as service members escorted residents into the ballroom, which was decorated with heart-shaped balloons, pink tablecloths and red center pieces.

    The escorts were compiled of Marines and sailors from 2nd Marine Logistics Group and other units from Camp Lejeune and Camp Johnson.

    The service members whipped out their dress uniforms and paid a special visit to more than 30 residents at the Carebridge Assisted Living community in Jacksonville, N.C., just before Valentine’s Day.

    “They knew we were here to comfort them, and it was a good feeling,” said Lance Cpl. Matthew S. Hartlove, a Baltimore native and electrician with 2nd Supply Battalion, 2nd Marine Logistics Group. “I like seeing their smiles and seeing them pleased.”

    After passing through an arch of flowers and lights at the doorway, Hartlove and the others guided the residents to their seats in preparation of the Sweetheart Dance, which would include refreshments, live music and dancing.

    “One of the [residents] had a Marine escort, and it just really touched her so much that she just cried,” said Beth Crist-Johns, the activity director at the facility. “They love to see the guys and ladies in uniforms.”

    The Marines and sailors mingled amongst the residents while enjoying drinks and snacks. Some stayed seated, while others stood to dance.

    “I almost cried when I saw a Marine dancing with a lady in a wheel chair and spinning her around,” said Renee Brandon, whose father was crowned king of the dance. “I know it means a lot to [the residents].”

    Hartlove didn’t waste any time finding a dance partner to take to the floor.

    “I like to do a little slow dancing to show them some love,” said Hartlove, who considered himself a fair dancer. “I like to do it. I have spare time, and this is for something better.”

    He took one of the lady’s hands as a slow song started to play. The two smiled and laughed as they danced to the rhythm of the music.

    She tucked her head on his shoulder, and a serene smile formed on her face. Other participants followed his lead and grabbed dancing partners for themselves or danced alone.

    “A lot of the residents can’t dance, but they like to see others dance,” said Crist-Johns. “It makes me feel good to see them happy, and that is what it’s all about … to see them happy.”

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 02.14.2013
    Date Posted: 02.14.2013 18:10
    Story ID: 102038
    Location: JACKSONVILLE, NC, US 

    Web Views: 253
    Downloads: 2

    PUBLIC DOMAIN