MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. – In an effort to give back to their community, some Marines with Fox Company, 2nd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, volunteered some of their time and energy toward helping the less fortunate.
The Marines helped out at soup kitchens, homeless shelters and other places within the local Jacksonville, N.C. area.
“We’ve had a lot of projects come down in the past month, month and a half,” said Sgt. Justin Kolman, a platoon sgt with Fox Co. “One of the [events] I took charge of was helping out with the homeless shelter in Jacksonville. It’s called the Onslow Community Outreach Center.”
According to Kolman, there were about 20 Marines who went there to help with small tasks such as painting, fixing doors and general clean up around the area.
“With 20 guys, we did what two or three people have been trying to do for the past couple of months,” said Kolman, of Nicholasville, Ky. “We were able to get so many things done in a matter of five or six hours. It would have taken them months just because they are so short staffed.”
The battalion’s chaplain, Navy Lt. Edward Erwin, was the one who let the unit know that there were places looking for volunteers. Chaplains are usually a good link between the Marines in their unit and the local community.
“I got word from the chaplain that this was going down,” said Staff Sgt. Matthew Morneau, another platoon sergeant with Fox Co., “He said he needed 15 guys, originally. We were part of the remain behind element for the company while the main body was in Bridgeport, [California] for training, so I thought we could take advantage of the opportunity and get as many Marines out there to interact with the community as possible.”
Once the Marines heard about the need for more volunteers, they jumped at the chance to help. The community service helped to break the monotony of a regular work week.
“Once they told us what was going on, I just felt like I should help them,” said Pfc. Andrew Gilliland, a new Marine with Fox Co. “They provide a great service to the community and I enjoyed helping them.”