HAVELOCK, N.C. - More than 1,000 Marines and their family members from eight squadrons took part in the Marine Aircraft Group 14 Winter Wonderland in the Marine Attack Squadron 231 hangar Dec. 6.
Michael McGuinness, the MAG-14 family readiness officer, said that this is probably the largest event of this type on the air station. It included food, drinks, jump castles, games and craft tables. He said he was glad to be a part of it.
“It’s an honor to facilitate such a large event for our families and Marines,” McGuinness said.
Sgt. Maj. David Bradford, the MAG-14 sergeant major, said the most important aspect of the event was the interaction among squadrons.
“While it’s all about families, it’s almost a Marine Corps tradition to have a get-together for the holidays,” Bradford said. “With the diversity between squadrons, camaraderie must go across the board.”
MAG-14 includes Marine Attack Squadrons 223, 231, and 542; Marine Attack Training Squadron 203; Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadrons 1, 2, 3, and 4; Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 252; Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 14; and Marine Wing Support Squadron 271.
Wielding several different types of aircraft, the squadrons of MAG-14 tackle a broad array of aviation missions around the world. The event offered a chance to build cohesion within a remarkably diverse unit.
For Staff Sgt. Roger Dodson, a hydraulic mechanic with Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 14, the best part of the event was sharing with other Marines and seeing that there is a community that really cares for his family.
“Knowing that the MAG is willing to do something like this, it lets me know that my family would be taken care of if I were gone,” Dodson said.
For a unit with a high deployment tempo, that is a concept that resonates with families, including Dobson’s wife.
“It means a lot knowing that his command supports his family and does something for them,” she said. “It feels like they have our back. It feels like they’d be here for us if our significant other was not.”