PEARL CITY, Hawaii --
Marines are known to be tough as nails, so who would have thought all it would take is a couple of kids to melt their hardened exteriors away?
More than a dozen Marines with Headquarters and Service Battalion, U. S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific volunteered to support students during Palisades Elementary School’s annual sports day Feb. 18 at the school, here.
“The Marines have always been really energetic and have really helped for the last four or five years,” said Mark Kurashige, a third grade and physical education teacher with the school. “They are very physically fit and serve as great role models and examples of good character for the children.”
According to Sgt. Wesley Cary, an ammunition technician with HQSVCBN and a volunteer at the event, the school contacted MarForPac and asked for volunteers.
During the event, the Marines manned eight stations where the students were led through tasks such as jumping jacks, hula hooping, throwing footballs and more.
“We set up the field, played with the kids and really tried to help the school out,” Cary said. “Personally, I really enjoy working with kids and it feels good to get out and interact with the community.”
The Marines coached the students through the events and performed tasks to ensure the children were having fun.
“They really get involved, encourage the students and go the extra mile,” Kurashige said. “They do things no one expects from them, like racing with the students and picking them up so they can dunk the basketball. It’s that extra initiative that is just wonderful.”
Parents at the event were also appreciative of the support.
“The kids think the Marines are really cool,” said Heidi Strauss, parent and volunteer at the event. “They give the kids something to look forward to and any volunteers who support the school really make a difference.”
MarForPac plans to continue supporting the school and similar events in the community.
“We’ve been supporting the school for the last few years,” said Staff Sgt. Michael Johnson, company gunnery sergeant for Headquarters Company, HQSVCBN. “The Marine Corps has always been affiliated with community outreach and support. It’s fun for the kids as well as the Marines.”
The volunteers agreed.
“I’m having a blast,” said Lance Cpl. Sam Dieffenbach, a clarinet player with the MarForPac Band, as he picked up another child to dunk a basketball.