News: Marines celebrate Christmas with their second family
Story by Cpl. Megan Sindelar
CAMP LEATHERNECK, Helmand province, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan – In a combat zone it is hard for Marines to spend Christmas away from their families, but this year Marines at Camp Leatherneck are celebrating Christmas with their second family: each other.
Regional Combat Team 2, motor transport, detachment 1, have planned different things to do while spending their Christmas holiday away from home. The detachment recently received a Christmas tree which is now lit up inside their workplace.
“I have a friend in I Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward), she hooked it up and got us a Christmas tree, lights and some ornaments,” said Lance Cpl. Edward V. Miuccio, line noncommissioned officer with RCT 2, motor transport, detachment 1. “Everybody likes the tree; it’s very festive and keeps our morale up.”
Along with the Christmas tree, the Marines drew names for a secret Santa gift exchange on Christmas day.
“We are going to get each other something small just to show our appreciation for each other,” said Miuccio, from Wayne, N.J.
Staff Sgt. Freeman J. Lowe, maintenance chief with RCT 2, motor transport, detachment 1, said that he is going to give all of his Marines the opportunity to call home to talk to their families and loved ones.
“Wishing their loved ones a merry Christmas is the most important thing,” said Lowe, a husband and father of three girls.
Lowe said he has a couple surprises for Christmas day for the Marines besides providing the opportunity to call home. He is having dinner catered and plans to sit around with all the Marines and share experiences from the 10 months they have spent in Afghanistan.
“The family of Marines around you keep you motivated and focused on the mission at hand,” Freeman said. “We celebrate in our own way here in Afghanistan.”
Miuccio said it’s hard here during Christmas. He misses his family and friends, but the Marines are here to complete the mission.
“It’s what we do,” said Miuccio.