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    Marines see the significance in roadside beautification / 沿道草刈り、 海兵隊員 地域美化に意義見出す

    Marines see the significance in roadside beautification

    Photo By Yoshie Makiyama | The Marines listen to closing remarks of Petty Officer 1st Class Marc R. Sablatura,...... read more read more



    Story by Yoshie Makiyama 

    Marine Corps Installations Pacific

    At 1 p.m. on a sunny but humid afternoon, 15 Marines from 9th Engineer Support Battalion based at Camp Hansen gathered alongside Route 329 Oct. 21, 2020. As they waited outside in the muggy weather, they could see an inviting beach across the street. However, they were not there to have fun but to fight back the overgrown vegetation in the area.

    The Marines identified an area of Route 329 in the Yaka district of Kin where the grass and weeds had grown out of control and created an unsafe area for passersby as it blocked driver’s view and could also be a habitat of dangerous snakes.

    After a short while of waiting, the Kin Town Social Welfare Association brought weed eaters and rakes. Volunteers took equipment one after another. For many, it was their first time using a weed eater. After a short period of instruction on how to use the equipment safely the Marines spread out to get started. Some of the volunteers struggled at first with the new tools they do not usually handle, but they learned quickly.

    "It was fun. I had never used weed eaters before but as long as you know how to move it around, you can manage to get it," Pfc. Maria Cruzruyz, who is new to Okinawa and recently completed her quarantine, explained how she controlled the weed eater.

    Once the grass and weeds alongside the main road were taken care of, volunteers moved on to a nearby park. With all 15 Marines working together, the park was done in a short time. After fighting with grass and weeds for two-and-a-half hours, the Marines finally finished. They had more than three truck loads of cut grass and weeds.

    "In Okinawa, we are visitors and it's nice to take care of the island we are on, and nice to give back to a community and to look after." said Staff Sgt. Scott R. Maynard when questioned about participating in the volunteer activity.

    At the end of the beautification, Navy Lt. Erik C. Hunt, the unit chaplain, told his Marines a parable about countless starfish on a beach and a child throwing them back to let them know what they did was good even it may look like an insignificant amount compared to the large scale of land, but they did good for somebody.

    "These communities going down 329 are a lot of elderly communities and they don't always have the resources to take care of their lawns, so we do it. It reflects well on us," remarked Petty Officer 1st Class Marc R. Sablatura, religious program assistant. According to Sablatura, this was the first volunteer opportunity since the unit had put all activities on hold due to COVID-19 in February.

    "As a district worker, I really appreciate the Marines cleaning up where children play," said Atsushi Kinjo, an accountant from Yaka distract office who joined the beautification at the park.

     晴れているが湿気の多い10月21日の午後1時 、在沖海兵隊キャンプ・ハンセンに拠点を置く第9工兵支援大隊の15人の隊員は国道329号線沿いに集まった。蒸し暑い中、待機している通りの向かいには、素敵なビーチが彼らを待っているかのようだった。しかし、隊員は楽しむためではなく、深々と生い茂った雑草と戦うためそこにいた。











    Date Taken: 01.21.2021
    Date Posted: 07.21.2021 20:56
    Story ID: 401349
    Location: OKINAWA, JP

    Web Views: 39
    Downloads: 0