OKINAWA, Japan - Artillery Marines are known for receiving firing missions and supporting their fellow Marines on the front lines of battle.
For a few Marines from 3rd Battalion, 12th Marine Regiment, they recently received a different type of support request. Instead of their typical fire mission, they went to help spread cheer to local children at an orphanage near the East Fuji Maneuver Area.
Marines and sailors of the battalion, part of 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force, took part in the community relations project at Seishin Orphanage July 3 as part of Artillery Relocation Training Program 11-1.
The purpose of this project was to take Marines and sailors away from the training atmosphere and give them a chance to help strengthen relationships with the local Japanese community.
“We visit orphanages and elementary schools to help build a better relationship with the Japanese people.” said Lt. j.g. Matthew C. Fore, battalion chaplain, 3rd Bn., 12th Marines. “The purpose of this event is to give the Marines and sailors a chance to get away from the training environment and get out into the community and learn the local culture.”
Participants said events like this are a great opportunity to interact with the local community.
“It was a great time and it felt good to see the kids smile,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class Christopher L. Davis, a corpsman with Romeo Battery, 3rd Bn., 12th Marines. “We played soccer, basketball, pushed them on swings, pulled them in wagons and played other games with them.”
This project shows the Japanese people that the Marines are here to train and help the community in any way possible, said Cpl. William W. Reed, a small arms technician with Romeo Battery, 3rd Bn., 12th Marines.
This is the fourth community relations event Fore has participated in as a part of the program and he says every event has been rewarding in its own way.
“The children are always excited to see us and even with the language barrier everyone understands the universal language of the smile,” he said.
This work, Marines, sailors volunteer time with local community, by Sgt Daniel Valle, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.