Oct 25, 2013 --
CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa - Service members and their families gathered at the Butler Officers’ Club on Camp Foster Oct. 15 for the 4th annual Children’s Marine Corps Birthday Ball.
The children’s Marine Corps birthday ball allows young and old alike to celebrate the Nov. 10, 1775, birth of the Marine Corps in a family-friendly environment.
The event was hosted by various units within 3rd Marine Logistics Group to allow children a closer look at an important part of Marine Corps traditions.
“My children are just as much a part of the Marine Corps as I am, so they need to be here to understand what they’re a part of and why it’s important,” said Chief Warrant Officer Derrick E. Oliver, a food service officer with 3rd MLG, III Marine Expeditionary Force.
The event commenced with three key elements of most traditional Marine Corps birthday celebrations; a troop formation, a reading of Gen. John A Lejeune’s birthday message, and cake-cutting ceremony.
This was a great opportunity for families to become closer and spend time together, according to Kara Walton, the family readiness officer for 9th Engineer Support Battalion, 3rd MLG.
Members of the III MEF Band played as the children intently watched their parents, wearing their blue dress uniforms, execute their designated role during the ceremony.
“As the ceremony went on, my children asked questions about what was happening, so them being here helped give them a better understanding of the Marine Corps’ history and traditions,” said Eula Carrasco, a ball attendee and Marine spouse.
Another enjoyable aspect of the celebration was that it gave the children a chance to get dressed up and experience something new, according to Carrasco.
“Being here lets them see another part of what daddy does, other than putting on (his uniform) and going (to work),” said Carrasco.
The children’s ball also helps reinforce the importance of traditions and customs, according to Oliver.
“My children understand that the Marine Corps is a part of our family, so bringing them here puts in perspective the difference between our family traditions and our Marine Corps family traditions,” said Oliver.
Following the ceremony and dinner, the Marine parents were able to let loose as they danced and played with their children.
“Children deserve this chance to be here with their parents as reward for their support,” said Oliver. “My family, my children, have been with me through the hard times (including) deployments and moving to different duty stations, so they have every right to be here with me celebrating.”
Participants in the 4th annual Children’s Marine Corps Birthday Ball, included Marines with 9th ESB, Combat Logistics Regiment 35, Combat Logistics Regiment 37, 3rd Supply Battalion and 3rd Medical Bn., all units within 3rd MLG, III MEF.
Read more: http://www.dvidshub.net/news/115712/3rd-mlg-hosts-4th-annual-childrens-marine-corps-ball#.UnBLao2molV#ixzz2j9z8QDJ6