News: 1st LAR Marines ACT for one of their own
Story by Lance Cpl. Alfred V. Lopez
SAN DIEGO – Marines and sailors of Company A, 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, participated in the Autism Care and Treatment Today! For Military Families 5k/10k Run and ONEHOPE Family Festival at Fiesta Island in San Diego, April 2.
Some of the Marines ran the race and some worked as race aids, but they all volunteered for a common cause. Jacob Tashma, the 5-year-old son of Staff Sgt. Sean Tashma, a Los Angeles native and an LAR platoon sergeant with Company A, is afflicted by autism, a developmental disorder that affects social skills and communication skills. According to the ACT website, one in 88 military children has a diagnosis on the autism spectrum.
“I’m really touched because I know how busy our training schedule is,” said Tashma. “90 percent of my company is out here. To see this many Marines come out and support my family touches the bottom of my heart.”
The event was the first major fundraising event for ACT Today!, and was held to raise funds, increase awareness, and provide help for military families that cannot afford the treatments and services their children require.
“ACT Today! helps us bridge the gap for the essential treatment that our children need,” Elizabeth Tashma, Jacob’s mother, said.
Marines ran various races, including a 5k, 10k and fun run. Some also served at water stations and as course guides. After the physical activities in the morning, the Marines learned about autism at various booths, enjoyed food and viewed concerts.
“My unit is really supportive, and I can’t thank them enough,” Tashma said.
“I felt that if he had the support of the unit, he would feel that Alpha Company is his family,” said 1st Sgt. Steven Cummings, company first sergeant. “It feels good to help his family because he’s one of our own.”