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    Troops, loved ones enjoy fun in the sun during Family Day

    Troops, Loved Ones Enjoy Fun in the Sun During Family Day

    Photo By Cpl. Tommy Bellegarde | Lance Cpl. Joshua Dancz, a rifleman with 2nd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, 2nd...... read more read more



    Story by Lance Cpl. Tommy Bellegarde  

    II Marine Expeditionary Force

    MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. — Playing carnival games, competing against others on inflatable obstacles, enjoying free food and spending quality time with family equaled an afternoon of summer fun for the Marines, Sailors and families of 2nd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, during a family day event at Onslow Beach, Camp Lejeune, N.C., Sept. 19.

    The afternoon of camaraderie between the service members and their family members provided a well-deserved break from the battalion's daily work and training schedule, and also gave the families of 2/9 the opportunity to spend valuable time with one another between deployments.

    Family Day gives the battalion's leadership the opportunity to thank the families of this unit for sticking by their Marines and sailors, said Lt. Col. James R. Fullwood, the commanding officer for 2/9.

    "This day is also to say thank you to the Marines as well," he added.
    The family day was supported in part by the Joe Gibbs Racing team, which also provided 50 volunteers from Huntersville, N.C., to run help the event.

    Additionally, the Joe Gibbs Racing team gave away various items for the event such as baseball caps and t-shirts. It also provided prizes for the raffle including a Washington Redskins football helmet autographed by Joe Gibbs, a three-time Super Bowl champion coach.

    In addition to free food and the opportunity to socialize with other battalion members and families, various games and other forms of entertainment were set up for the participants to enjoy, including inflatable obstacles for all ages. Many children spent the day jumping and playing on the moon bounce as their parents watched and snapped photographs. Some Marines utilized the obstacles for a little friendly competition.

    "It's a hell of a time to take on a co-worker in the bungee run," said Cpl. Paul Belanger, an anti-tank missile man with the battalion.

    Games included the dunk tank, where troops and their families threw tennis balls at a target to submerge a bold participant sitting atop a trap door, awaiting an aqueous doom below.

    One Marine decided to throw a basketball at the target to increase his chances of submerging one unlucky sergeant with the battalion's communication platoon.

    That's not how to treat a noncommissioned officer, yelled the sergeant, humorously.

    There was also volleyball at the event, in which troops and family members competed in friendly matches against each other. Some players sat on top of each others shoulders in order to gain a height advantage.

    Other families stayed away from the action by relaxing on the beach together, playing in the waves of the warm ocean water and even burying one another in the sand.

    The battalion holds other outings throughout the year and is scheduled to throw a holiday party for the families and troops of the unit this December, according to Ellie Benavides, the family readiness officer for 2/9

    The battalion returned from Iraq in April, said Fullwood, and is keeping busy preparing for its next deployment by reinforcing infantry core essential tasks, improving movement and communication, and reemphasizing small-unit leadership.

    For more information on the II Marine Expeditionary Force, visit the unit's web site at www.iimefpublic.usmc.mil.



    Date Taken: 09.25.2009
    Date Posted: 09.25.2009 13:15
    Story ID: 39256
    Location: CAMP LEJEUNE, NC, US 

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